As the UK leaves the European Union, a new body of UK law, labelled ‘retained EU law’, was introduced to save and convert certain parts of EU law into UK statutes. This article explores the impact of Brexit on statutory interpretation in the UK in the context of Value Added Tax (VAT). In particular, it looks at whether, and the manner in which, UK courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) will move in different directions when interpreting what is essentially the same law. The article predicts the post-Brexit evolution of statutory interpretation in UK courts based on an empirical study of cases concerning VAT referred by UK courts to the CJEU between 1973 and 2020, augmented by a doctrinal analysis of selected cases. The methodology is built on the premise that past case decisions may provide an indication of the nature of possible future divergence. A case study of VAT may offer wider implications as to departure from the CJEU jurisprudence in other legal areas in the coming years.
Zu, Y. (in press). Statutory Interpretation after Brexit: Implications from a Case Study of VAT. Legal Studies, https://doi.org/10.1017/lst.2022.41