Brexit: CAP and BCAP Code rules

The European Union (Withdrawal Act) 2018 (the EUWA) makes provision for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. In summary, it:

  • ends the supremacy of EU law in UK law at the time of exit (section 1),
  • preserves UK law that has been made to implement EU obligations as it stands at the time of exit (section 2);
  • converts direct EU legislation as it stands at the time of exit into UK law (section 3); and
  • creates temporary powers to make secondary legislation to ensure that the UK legal system continues to function correctly outside the EU (section 8)

As a general rule, the same rules and laws will apply on the day after exit as on the day before; and changes can be made to these by subsequent legislation.

The EUWA also enables UK law to reflect the content of a withdrawal agreement once the UK leaves the EU, subject to the prior enactment of a statute by Parliament approving the final terms of withdrawal.

The CAP and BCAP Codes include many rules which seek to reflect significant pieces of EU law or UK law that has been made to implement EU law. Examples of these are:

Misleading advertising – rules reflect provisions of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008.

Medicines, medical devices, health-related products and beauty products – rules reflect provisions of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012.

Food, food supplements and associated health or nutrition claims – rules reflect provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health Claims made on Foods.

CAP and BCAP understand that discussions on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU are ongoing; however, the current default position is that the UK will leave the EU regardless of whether a withdrawal agreement has been implemented.

CAP and BCAP advise advertisers that in the event that the UK leaves the EU, all rules in force on the day before exit day will continue to remain in force on and after exit day, and that they must comply with all rules in the CAP and BCAP Codes unless CAP and BCAP make a statement that says otherwise. CAP and BCAP will continue to consider any changes that might be necessary to the Codes as they receive further information from Government, and will make any appropriate changes as soon as they are in a position to do so. 

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