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Leave means leave, or does it?

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EU law remains significant to VAT because of the continued obligation to adopt a muscular conforming interpretation of UK legislation, so that, in so far as possible, it is construed in a manner that accords with the Principal VAT Directive. However, since 1 January 2024 taxpayers have lost the ability to rely on the direct effect of the Directive. Challenges to UK legislation on the basis that it does not accord with the general principles of EU law are also no longer possible. The ability to rely on such principles was even restricted before 1 January 2024. However, they remain relevant when assessing whether a conforming interpretation is possible.

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