The Act is aimed at creating legal certainty across the board in federal law for the transition period after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. It entered into force together with the Withdrawal Agreement on 1 February 2020.
The Draft Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period from the date of the withdrawal until 31 December 2020, during which EU law will fundamentally, as a general rule, continue to apply to the United Kingdom. There is the option for further extension of the transition period, but no longer than until the end of 2022, provided that both parties agree to this no later than 31 June 2020. The aim is to give the public, companies and administrations time to adapt to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU.
Aim and content
The main aim of the Act is to create legal clarity for the transition period as regards provisions of federal law that refer to membership of the EU. The Act contains a clear and simple rule for the transition period: wherever federal law refers to the EU Member States, this will also include the United Kingdom as long as none of the stated exceptions apply.
The Act also includes a provision to help British and German citizens who apply for citizenship of the other country before the end of the transition period. Under this provision, they will be allowed to retain their original citizenship even if the decision on their naturalisation is made after the end of the transition period. In such cases, dual citizenship will be tolerated under certain conditions.
Act on the transition period after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union (Brexit-Übergangsgesetz – BrexitÜG) of 27 March 2019 (Federal Law Gazette I, p. 402)