Insights Committees of Advertising Practice publish summary of CAP and BCAP rules after the Brexit transition period


In short, CAP and BCAP advise advertisers that all EU-derived legislation that is in force at the end of the transition period will remain in force after that date unless it is subsequently repealed. CAP and BCAP say that they will continue to consider any changes that might be necessary to the Codes as they receive further information from the Government, and will make any appropriate changes as soon as they are in a position to do so.

The Committees’ advice reminds readers that the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 made provision for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU via the following key provisions:

  • ending of the supremacy of EU law in UK law at the time of exit (section 1);
  • preserving UK law made to implement EU obligations as it stood at the time of exit (section 2);
  • converting direct EU legislation as it stood at the time of exit into UK law (section 3); and
  • creating 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 2018 Act was designed to ensure that the same rules and laws would apply on the day after exit as on the day before and that changes could be made to these by subsequent legislation. The 2018 Act was also designed to enable UK law to reflect the content of the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020.

The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland is part of the wider EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement signed on 24 January 2020, and took effect at the end of the transition period. Under the Protocol, Northern Ireland is obliged to align with specific EU rules, including those in areas such as technical regulation of goods (for example, foods and medicines). CAP and BCAP are monitoring legislation and Government guidance to ensure that any differences in regulation between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK are reflected appropriately in the Codes. However, CAP and BCAP will not make changes to the Codes until the position in these, and other, areas is certain. Nonetheless, from 1 January 2021, CAP and the ASA will ensure that any changes in law are taken into account in their work. CAP and BCAP also advise advertisers to seek legal advice on the impact of the Protocol in specific product areas. To read the advice note in full, click here.