The Impact of Brexit on UK Laws

Smith Partnership, one of the largest firms of solicitors in the East Midlands, offers its view on the impact of Brexit on UK regulatory law, following the dramatic results of the EU referendum on 23rd June 2016. 

Kevin McGrath, Partner at Smith Partnership commented: “For many who voted leave in the EU referendum, one of the primary motivations was to restore the sovereignty of the United Kingdom parliament, and to wrestle away from Europe its apparent control over our law making. 

“It is true to say that during our membership of our European Union Brussels has had a profound influence on all of our regulatory law including health and safety, town planning, the environment, freedom of information and competition. 

“Business leaders and lawyers must now turn their minds to the impact that our exit from the European Union will have on all of that legislation, if and when Article 50 is finally invoked. 

So what happens next? 

“To an extent the answer depends on the negotiations which will now take place between the government and the European Union with regard to our exit. If as a result of those negotiations we remain a member of the single market then it is almost inevitable that the European Union will insist that we adopt and mirror all European law and regulation within our own legislation. 

“The result will be business as usual, although we would be disadvantaged in that we will no longer have any say in relation to new European legislation but will be obliged to adopt it – probably the worst of all worlds for most Brexiteers. 

“If a decision is reached that we come out of the single market then we will assume complete responsibility for our own legislation and the opportunity will arise for us to review all EU based law and decide what we keep and what we disregard. 

“Well run businesses must continue to be vigilant and maintain levels of compliance and deal with any issues that arise promptly and efficiently.” 

“Of course the popular notion that all EU regulation is about the shape and dimension of bananas is far from true. The vast majority of EU law has been put in place to benefit both business and employees alike and the business community has worked within its framework for many years. 

“The general view appears to be that there is unlikely to be any wholesale re-writing of the UK’s regulatory framework. That having been said the commitment of this and previous governments to cut red tape does mean that it is likely that the pace of regulatory change will slow in the future. 

“While business leaders would be well advised to pay very careful attention to the months ahead, it is clear is that there will be no sudden changes in relation to businesses regulatory responsibilities and prosecuting authorities will continue to vigorously enforce compliance.” 

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