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EU Referendum: What next?

24/06/2016

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United Kingdom

In a historic move, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union (EU). While the exit is unlikely to be confirmed until some point in 2018, Fieldfisher has made it clear that it remains committed to Europe. Michael Chissick, the firm's managing partner, said:

"While the UK has voted to leave the EU, Fieldfisher has not. We are a European law firm and that won't change."

The firm is committed to ensuring the negative impact of the UK's exit from the EU on its clients is minimised. Some of the issues we have already been discussing with clients are:


What happens next?

The EU exit procedure is not designed to make it easy and it has only been exercised once – by Greenland.  It is designed to be difficult because member states are not encouraged to leave.  There will be a period of negotiation between the UK and the rest of the EU about the exact terms of exit.


What will be the UK's trading arrangements with the EU?

In the immediate future they may not change significantly.  Any negotiated deal for future trading relations would have to comply with WTO rules: if it does not negotiate a free trade agreement or join a customs union under WTO rules, any deal with the UK would have to be offered by the EU to all other WTO members.  This might severely limit the UK's and the EU's freedom of manoeuvre.  In addition, the UK would almost certainly no longer be part of the Single Market and all of the trade arrangements, including the trade arrangement with the EU, would need to be renegotiated.


What about UK laws based on EU law?

It would be open to the UK to depart from the harmonised rules, which may be beneficial, but there is likely to be a cost associated with the changes and selling into EU from the UK would probably become more difficult over time.


Will non-UK citizen employees from the another EU country be allowed to stay in the UK?

It is likely that citizens from other EU states will be allowed to continue working in the UK, but the rules may change over time and there may be some formalities to complete.

If you are interested in having a further chat, please get in touch with your usual contact at Fieldfisher or contact Rochelle Garnon on +44 (0)207 861 4004, who can divert you to the best person to discuss any specific questions you may have.

 

Read our recent briefing papers on the implications and issues surrounding Brexit