European Union Law
Suvi is a Finnish national. She has a degree in Zoo Technology from a Finnish University. She is aware that there is a shortage of qualified Zoo Technologists in the UK and knows she can make a good living in this field in the UK. She has arrived recently in the UK and set up a company to offer her services as a Zoo Technologist to zoos in the UK.
She has been informed that all zoos in the UK are regulated by the National Authority of Zoos, (NAZ), and she must meet its requirements to work in or for any zoo there. Without registration with NAZ no zoo in the UK will engage her services on an employed or self-employed basis.
Suvi’s application to register with NAZ as a self-employed Zoo Technologist has been rejected. It has been explained to her that she cannot be registered until she has obtained a relevant UK qualification in line with the 2017 UK Act and that EU law does not apply in the UK as the country has voted to leave the EU and in in the process of doing so.
Relevant extracts of the relevant EU and UK law are set out below.
Advise Suvi on the applicability and enforceability in the UK of the laws in this scenario.
You are not required to advise on state liability.
You are to assume that the laws in this scenario are real. You are not expected to know or advise on any substantive law relating to EU free movement of persons or other EU law relating to recognition of qualifications.
The issue in this case scenario is if Regulation (EU) 12/2012 of the European Parliament and the Council on rights of free movement for Zoo Technologists. 1 April 2016 takes precedence over the domestic law of UK that has been passed in the form of Recognition of Qualifications (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2017. Under these circumstances, Suvi needs advice regarding the application and the enforceability of EU law in the UK.
In this context, it needs to be stated that the EU law has been incorporated in the domestic law of UK after the enactment of European Communities Act, 1972. During the last 40 years of the membership of the European Union, the European laws related with several different aspects of business life and operations in the UK have been passed. The major types of EU law are Treaties, Regulations, Directives and case law of the CJEU. It is worth mentioning that the Regulations are the EU laws that automatically apply in the Member States. The result is that our domestic legislation is not required to be passed by the Member States for such law to the effect. In the present case, Regulation (EU) 12/2012 is also a Regulation of the EU law.
Under these circumstances it is still not clear what will be the exact effect of Brexit on the legal landscape in the UK. But it is clear that the vote to leave the European Union is not going to have any legal effect on the application of EU law in the UK. No such effect is going to be felt until the date of (i) the entry into force of any withdrawal agreement or (ii) Till the two years anniversary of the service of formal notice by the UK to leave the European Union, whichever takes place first. Therefore this can be referred to as the leave date.
Under the legal scenario, UK will remain bound by the law of the European Union till the leave date in the same way as it has been for the last 40 years. However from the leave date, the Treaty Principles and the EU Regulations will automatically cease to have effect in the UK unless legislation to the contrary is passed by the UK government.
The national legislation implementing the Directives of EU will remain in force even after the leave date unless it is decided by the UK government that any legislation is going to be replaced, amended or repealed.
After the leave date there will be several gaps in the UK law that were earlier filled by the Treaty Principles and the EU Regulations, unless legislation is passed by the UK government for filling these gaps. Similarly, there may be gaps present in the UK legislation due to the references to the EU legislation, regulatory frameworks, and/or bodies that are not applicable in the UK anymore. After the leave date, the CJEU will not have any direct impact on the domestic law of UK. However, depending on the form adopted by Brexit, the courts in UK may still be under an obligation to follow the lead of CJEU in several instances. Whatever form is adopted by Brexit, the influence of the decisions of CJEU on the UK case law for the last four decades will result that the EU laws will continue to him directly affect the decisions of the national courts for some time in the future.
A large part of UK legislation is going to be totally unaffected by Brexit, as it has not been derived from the EU law. For example, the Sale of Goods Act, 1979 is a purely domestic piece of legislation in the UK.
In the present case, it has been provided by Regulation (EU) 12/2012 of the European Parliament and the Council on rights of free movement for Zoo Technologists. 1 April 2016 that the nationals of member states who want to pursue the profession of zoo technologists, can do so in a Member State other than the state in which they have received their qualifications. However, this provision is in conflict with the domestic law of UK where the Recognition of Qualifications (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2017 is in place. It has been provided in this legislation that in order to be eligible for working in a zoo or similar environment, a person is required to have obtained the qualification in zoo technology from a university that has been registered in the UK.
In the present case, Suvi comes from Finland. She had obtained her degree in Zoo Technology from a Finnish University. However she wants to work in this field in the UK. But when she arrives in UK, she comes to know that the zoos in the UK are regulated by the National Authority of Zoos. Therefore she is required to fulfill the requirements described by NAZ in order to work in any zoo in the UK. However, the application made by Suvi to work as self-employed zoo technologist is rejected by NAZ on the ground that she has not obtained the relevant UK qualification in accordance with the 2017 Act and the EU law is not applicable in the UK because it has voted to leave the European Union.
However, in view of the legal position mentioned above, it is clear that till the ‘leave date’, the EU law will have precedence over the domestic law of the UK. The result is that the relevant EU Regulation will have precedence over the domestic law of the UK passed in the form of 2017 Act. The result is that Suvi can rely upon the EU Regulation and claim to be registered with the NAZ for the purpose of working as a zoo technologist in the UK.
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