BREXIT: THE IMPACT ON THE LEGAL SYSTEM Following the result of the vote for the UK to leave the European Union the country now faces the largest overhaul of its legal system for generations, with tens of thousands of laws potentially affected. A considerable amount of legislation governing the UK is tied to EU law. EU law takes 2 main forms: Directives which the UK must implement through legislation passed by Parliament and Regulations which are directly applicable in UK law without the need for any implementing legislation. The referendum itself is not technically legally binding. The Government must invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union and serve notice to leave the EU. When article 50 is invoked we will enter a 2 year negotiating period. Until an agreement is reached with the European Council under Article 50 we will remain a member of the EU and bound by EU Treaties and other legislation (e.g. Directives and Regulations). Any agreement must be approved by a qualified majority of the remaining EU Member States. Parliament must then repeal the European Communities Act 1972 So what effect would repealing the European Communities Act have on the status of EU-derived law in the UK? It would not undo the implementation of the EU Directives that have become Acts of Parliament or Statutory Instruments. These will remain in force unless they were repealed. However, directly applicable EU Regulations pose a dilemma. On repeal of the European Communities Act unless they are expressly saved they would cease to have effect, leaving a continent sized hole in our regulation of fundamental aspects of our business, work and environment. Now is a crucial time to consider the legal impact of Brexit on your business as well as the economic impact. At Harrisons Solicitors we have experts across the firm who can provide advice on which EU laws affect your business and what the potential impact of any changes to those rules may be.