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Constitution

Relationship with the EU

This fact was correct when it was updated on 22 Sep 2020

What proportion of UK law is made in Brussels?

There is no clear answer to this question, as it depends on how we define ‘UK law’ and how we count ‘laws’. A narrow definition of UK law – that originating from the UK’s legislatures – leaves out directly applicable EU law. At the same time, simply adding up directly applicable EU legislation and the number of UK Acts of Parliament and statutory instruments to figure out the proportion of EU law is equally misleading. It does not reveal anything about the number of legal rules contained in each piece of legislation, their application to the UK (for instance, rules on citrus growing do not really matter in the UK) or about their impact on everyday life. These figures ignore that the common law, which makes up much of the UK’s private and criminal law, is contained in judgements of the court and the volume of this is hard to quantify.

Find out more – read our fact on how the EU makes laws.

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