As stated in the title, will Brexit be able to prevent Britain from being affected by Article 13? This question comes in light of Article 13 recently passing.

For the purposes of this question, I am referring to Brexit passing, given Theresa May's most recently proposed deal. (If that's off the table, assume no deal.)

I understand that Brexit has not occurred yet, but given the unstable situation of Britain being in the EU, will anyone bother to start Article 13 regulations there? It seems silly that someone would go through the trouble of trying to enforce Article 13 only to back out of it a short time later.

If Britain is indeed immune to Article 13 now, would it be advantageous for other countries to leave the EU for immunity to its effects as well?


2 Answers 2


A directive in EU law

Article 13 in your question is part of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. As the name suggests, it is a directive, which is a legal act in the EU. Directives need to be implemented by member states per article 288 TFEU, which contains the following line:

A directive shall be binding, as to the result to be achieved, upon each Member State to which it is addressed, but shall leave to the national authorities the choice of form and methods.

As such, the directive will have to be implemented by member states. In case of no-deal Brexit, the UK will not have to adopt this (or other) EU laws. May's deal also proposes that the UK leaves the single market and the customs union and as such it won't have to adapt EU laws after the transition period ends.

Operating in the single market

Of course British companies operating in the EU are still subject to EU law when they operate in the EU. Let's say a large British Website which is (also) aimed at EU customers does something that violates the law (could be an implementation of this directive) of a member state then the authorities of that member state could take steps against that company within their own jurisdiction.

Obviously, it's easier for a country to take steps against a company or person within their own jurisdiction or another country with which they work closely.

  • 1
    @ErinB no, how do you read that from this answer? Member states must implement the directive; the details are up to each member but they can't just ignore it.
    – Cubic
    Mar 26, 2019 at 22:11
  • 1
    W.r.t. transition period: The transition period would bind the UK to EU law, including anything that arises during the transition period. Once that is over of course the UK could, in theory, choose to undo all of those things if they afterwards end up in a situation in which EU law does not apply to them.
    – Cubic
    Mar 26, 2019 at 22:13

The answer is in the article you linked to. The EU passed "fiercely contested changes that make platforms such as YouTube responsible for copyright infringements committed by their users". If US-based YouTube worries it's affected, it's a safe assumption that UK-based companies should worry about it too regardless of Brexit outcome.

  • 1
    "Being affected" isn't the same as "Being Compliant", I wouldn't imagine
    – Erin B
    Mar 26, 2019 at 20:22
  • Of course YouTube also operates in the EU. Part of their revenue model is to serve customers adds, many of those customers are in the EU (because the EU has many inhabitants).
    – JJJ
    Mar 26, 2019 at 20:25
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    Sure, but a quick way to circumvent compliance is to just deny access; See: "This video is not available in your country" for your youtube example.
    – Erin B
    Mar 26, 2019 at 20:27
  • @ErinB: Seeing how websites that block EU countries currently do so at random, in classic CNN or Fox fashion, I don't think Brexit will have much to do with that question. Mar 26, 2019 at 20:35

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