In the short term, one thing that can be said with certainty is that at present the UK is as much a member of the EU as it has been with all the rights and obligations that entails. No domestic law has been repealed and no international obligation has been revoked. At present nothing in constitutional terms has changed.
Whilst the UK remains a part of the EU we still have to comply in full with the European Cosmetic Regulations, so for now and for the immediate foreseeable future, nothing will change in that respect.
How will Brexit actually happen?
On the 29th of March 2017 the UK invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union via a notification letter from Prime Minister Theresa May to President Donald Tusk of the European Council stating the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU.
Article 50 provides for a two year period for the withdrawal to take effect. This can be extended but only by unanimous agreement from all EU countries. If there is no extension Brexit Day would be Friday 29th March 2019. Negotiations officially began on the 19th June between teams from the UK and the EU.
What will be the impact on existing European Union Regulations such as Regulation 1223/2009 on cosmetic products?
EU Regulations rely on the principle of direct applicability. This means that, in contrast with EU Directives, they are directly implemented into UK law without the need for additional legislation from the UK Government and Parliament. Essentially they have immediate effect.
On the 30th March 2017 the government published details of its proposals for the "Great Repeal Bill" in a White Paper. The government has since introduced the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill to Parliament, as it is formally named, where it was read for the first time in July. If passed, it will end the primacy of EU law in the UK and incorporate all EU legislation into UK law. The plan is for it to be passed ahead of the UK's exit from the EU but to become law only when it actually leaves. The Bill will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, which took Britain into the EU and meant that European law took precedence over laws passed in the British parliament. It will also end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Notably, all existing EU legislation will be copied across into domestic UK law to ensure a smooth transition on the day after Brexit.
What will be the legal and regulatory impact on my business post Brexit?
Whilst the UK Parliament will be free to "amend, repeal and improve" any laws as it sees necessary or fit, it will still be necessary to comply with EU law in order to continue to sell to the EU member states so the current regulations will still remain relevant to businesses doing so. Ensuring the continuity of EU rules and regulations is also meant to aid trade negotiations with the EU because the UK will already meet all of its product standards.
However, if at the point of exit there are any additional or different requirements placed on us here in the UK then we are confident that we will be able to provide you with all the necessary information and advice to help you make the transition through Brexit as seamless as possible.