There has been little immediate change in the legal environment since the UK voted to leave the European Union (Brexit) as the UK has to give notice of its intention to withdraw from the EU, which then starts a two year period in which the UK and the EU negotiate the terms of withdrawal.

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has stated that Article 50 will be triggered before the end of March 2017 (which will start the two year period) and that the Government plans to introduce a Great Repeal Bill in the next Parliamentary session. On 17 January 2017, she confirmed that the UK will fully leave the single market and will look to negotiate a new trade deal with the EU. The final agreement will be put to a vote in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The High Court handed down judgment on 03 November 2016 in favour of Mrs Miller. In a robustly worded judgment a panel of three senior judges, including the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls, held that the Government does not have the power unilaterally to give notice under Article 50. It must secure authority in an Act of Parliament before doing so. The Government’s appeal was heard in the Supreme Court from 05 to 08 December 2016, with a decision expected imminently. You can read more on Breaking down Brexit: a blog.

The UK’s decision to leave the European Union does, however, raise crucial issues as to the potential legal consequences and impact on business activities in the UK.

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This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.