Brexit: The Legal Implications for Business

On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to become the first full member state ever to leave the European Union, signalling the eventual unwinding of a political and financial association dating back to 1973.

In this briefing we tackle one of the biggest and most uncertain of all Brexit topics: what will happen to our laws after we leave?


Timescale and process

At present, of course, nothing has changed. To leave the EU, the UK will have to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, leading to a maximum two-year period in which the terms of the UK’s departure can be negotiated. What that departure will look like depends on the UK’s aims and the extent of the EU’s willingness to accommodate them. There are many possible outcomes, ranging from the "Norwegian model", under which the UK accepts the free movement of goods, services, capital and workers in return for access to the single market, to a full exit, under which the UK sits outside any current European agreement.