Assimilated law (Retained EU law)
Assimilated law is the new name for the law that was retained from the period of the UK’s membership of the EU. Assimilated law was previously known as retained EU law or “REUL” and the terminology was changed with effect from 1 January 2024 by the UK Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023.
The Scottish Government opposes the Act, which puts vital protections at risk, threatens to undermine the devolution settlement, and was imposed without the legislative consent of the Scottish Parliament. Amongst other things the Act changed the status of EU law, including inverting the supremacy REUL had over other domestic law.
The Scottish Government Programme for Government 2023-24 commits the Government to challenging where we can, given our limited powers, attempts by the UK Government to use the REUL Act to legislate for lower standards, and commits to providing the Scottish Parliament with a full picture of progress.
Read more about our response to the legislation.
We have committed to preparing bi-annual REUL Act updates each February and September in 2024, 2025 and 2026.
Legislative consent memoranda
Legislative consent memoranda lodged by the Scottish Government in relation to the REUL Bill during its passage. These set out our rationale for recommending that the Scottish Parliament withhold consent to the Bill. This includes associated follow up correspondence with the Scottish Parliament’s Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture (CEEAC) Committee.
- Scottish Government Legislative Consent Memorandum (LCM) – November 2022
- Scottish Government Supplementary Legislative Consent Memorandum (SLCM) – May 2023
- update and response to Supplementary Legislative Consent Memorandum SLCM report – August 2023
- final Scottish Government REUL Act schedule 1 analysis – September 2023
Letters from Scottish Government Ministers to UK Government Ministers relating to the REUL Bill during its passage, highlighting our concerns and setting out proposed amendments to the original legislation.
- letter to UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - 22 September 2022
- letter to UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - 8 November 2022
- letter to the UK Secretary of State for Business and Trade - 10 February 2023
- letter to the UK Secretary of State for Business and Trade - 25 May 2023
Articles providing more information about the REUL Bill and our response.
- Deep concern at Retained EU Law Bill – 22 September 2022
- MSPs invited to withhold consent for Retained EU Law Bill – 8 November 2022
- Scottish Parliament refuses consent for Retained EU Law Bill – 23 February 2023
- Retained EU Law Bill “risk to devolution” – 8 June 2023