European Union: Transposing The Bureaucracy Of The EU Into The UK Civil Services

Last Updated: 5 December 2017
Article by John Cassels, George McLellan and Anatol Poyer-Sleeman

Clause 2(1) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 (known as the Great Repeal Bill), which passed its second reading in the House of Commons on 11 September, provides that EU-derived domestic legislation, as it has effect in domestic law immediately before exit day, continues to have effect in domestic law on and after exit day. And yet the majority of EU institutions and agencies which constitute the EU bureaucracy, and which are empowered by EU law to carry out the functions of EU-derived legislation, will cease to have jurisdiction to carry out those functions for the purposes of the UK.

Fieldfisher's Regulatory Group has taken a bird's eye view of the EU agencies to address the extent to which UK civil services will be required to pick up the administrative tab on exit day.

While we have summarised many of the key learning points from our analysis, if you would like to gain access to the assessment report, please email John Cassels, and/or George McLellan in the Regulatory Group.

Summary facts

  • Virtually all of the functions of the central institutions of the EU will be redundant for UK-purposes following Brexit and their functions will be repatriated to their UK equivalents. However, there remains some possibility that the UK will need to continue to recognise the jurisdiction of the CJEU to arbitrate over some matters arising out of the UK's re-negotiated participation in various EU agencies.
  • Active strategic partnerships will be required between at least 7 EU agencies and the UK. This is for EU agencies whose functions cannot be effectively de-centralised. In each of these cases our view is that active mutual cooperation is essential for both the UK and the EU, for example to ensure air safety, security, and the transit of electricity and gas.
  • The functions (or some of the functions) of around 28 EU agencies will need to be repatriated to equivalent authorities in the UK. In these cases, the UK authorities will be required to introduce new remits and/or will pick up regulatory responsibility currently held by EU agencies. In some cases, the UK agencies may be required to maintain compliance with EU regulation through adopting changes to relevant EU law into the UK.
  • Our analysis suggests around 21 EU agencies will be completely redundant for UK purposes following Brexit, representing about £471 million in UK budgetary contributions annually. In some instances, existing UK agencies may establish formal information sharing arrangements with some of these EU agencies, but for the most part there would be no need for active participation by the UK agency into the activities of the EU agency (or vice versa).
  • We have estimated that the UK's budgetary contributions to the administrative functioning of the EU institutions and agencies identified in our table totals around £620 million annually. Of this total, around £471 million may be considered redundant expenditure for UK purposes following Brexit. The UK contributes about £35 million annually towards the administrative budgets of EU agencies with which strategic partnership will be necessary following Brexit, and it is likely that the UK will need to continue making substantially similar contributions. The remaining administrative expenditure, comprising £114 million annually, constitutes the UK's contribution to EU agencies whose functions will need to be repatriated to their UK counterparts.

The known legal framework

Two paragraphs of the Department for Exiting the European Union's (DExEU) February 2017 policy paper, The United Kingdom's exit from and new partnership with the European Union White Paper, discuss future status and arrangements with regard to how the UK will carry on the functions and work of EU agencies for UK-purposes post-Brexit. In summary, the white paper says: i) there are a number of EU agencies which are established to enforce particular regulatory regimes, for pooling knowledge and for information sharing; and ii) the UK Government will discuss the future status and arrangements with regard to these agencies through the Brexit negotiation process.

The Great Repeal Bill deals with the mechanics of how the functions of EU agencies will be dealt with in the Brexit process. In particular, cl.7(1) and (2) enables a Minister to make regulations in order to prevent, remedy or mitigate any deficiency in retained EU law arising from Brexit, including deficiencies which arise because the EU law confers functions on EU entities which no longer have functions in the respect conferred for UK purposes. Clause 7(5) goes on to empower Ministers to provide for functions of EU agencies to be i) instead exercisable by a public authority (whether or not newly established or established for the purpose) in the UK, or ii) replaced, abolished or otherwise modified.

Purpose and methodology

We set out intending to provide the most basic overview of all the institutions, agencies and organisations that together constitute the bureaucracy of the European Union (EU); the purpose being to consider how their respective functions may be repatriated into the United Kingdom's civil services following Brexit.

Clearly, summarising all of the remits administered within the EU's extensive regulatory environment, and usefully identifying how that same functionality may be preserved in a way that will secure the United Kingdom's post-Brexit future was easier said than done (as we trust the same has been the realisation of thousands of civil servants in Whitehall and across the EU).

In any event, we have prepared a table identifying all entities broadly comprised within the EU, and identifying:

  • each EU agency's basic function and role
  • what we have identified as each agency's UK equivalent
  • any statements made about Brexit by either the EU agency or UK equivalent
  • the budget allocated to each agency by the EU budget
  • our estimate of the budget appropriated by each agency that may be tied to the UK's contribution
  • our view on how the functions of each agency will be taken care of for UK purposes following Brexit, in particular:

    1. for some EU agencies, the UK's ongoing active involvement will be essential following Brexit
    2. we consider a few EU agencies functions will be redundant for UK purposes following Brexit
    3. in many cases, a new or existing UK agency will need to pick up some or all of the functions currently performed by their EU counterparts

Summary findings

There are about 7 EU agencies with whom the UK's continued partnership will be essential following Brexit. Such agencies, as recognised in DExEU's white paper, include those which regulate aviation safety, maintain electricity transfer arrangements, and deal with energy regulation, data protection, defence policy, policing, and approaches to security and environmental policy. These agencies tend to manage either infrastructure or regulation that has an essential cross-border element. In these cases, the extent of the cross-border element renders centralisation of some aspect of their bureaucratic function to be essential for both the UK and the member states of the EU.

For a number of other EU agencies, although ongoing partnership may not be essential in order to maintain safety or economic functionality, it will be necessary for UK-based agencies to pick up the functions and remits of their European counterparts. The extent to which functions and remits will need to be repatriated varies in degree. The UKIPO, for example, will need to continue to share information with the EU IPO, as it would with any other intellectual property office around the world. However, aside from being of assistance to one another, the two will be able to divide their functions and co-exist without active input of either into the functions (or budgets) of the other. At a different degree, if the UK wishes to continue to observe Community Plant Variety Office (CPVO) functions, it will need to resource either a new or existing UK agency to replicate the relevant functions of its EU counterpart.

There are also EU agencies whose functions will be wholly redundant for UK-purposes after Brexit. For example, although the goings on at the EU Authority for European Political Parties and European Political Foundations (APPF) may continue to be of interest to the UK's Foreign & Commonwealth Office after Brexit, the UK will not be required to establish a new alternative. Likewise, many UK departments and agencies may have existing translation services, though it is fair to say that the functions carried out by the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union will not need to be repatriated to a UK agency.

Publicly, while the overall approach of the UK Government to the Brexit process and the UK's status afterward (in terms of customs, trade, immigration, etc.) remains quite uncertain; uncertainty is particularly acute in respect of the dozens of EU agencies which carry out the bureaucratic functions required by EU law.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

John Cassels
In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions