What are the potential legal consequences of Brexit?

24 June 2016

Author: Michael Johnston
Sector: Brexit


The vote for the UK to leave the European Union is an important decision, with profound implications, which raises a number of questions, challenges and opportunities. We are now moving into what is likely to be the biggest demerger in history with the UK, the world’s 5th largest economy, leaving the EU, the world’s largest economic grouping.

At this point, it is not possible to predict how that exit will be managed and effected, and what the precise implications will be for commercial parties, save that there is a period of uncertainty ahead which, as we know, is not always good for business, and we have already seen the markets’ initial reaction.

However, in their statement released earlier today the CBI say

“Many businesses will be concerned and need time to assess the implications. But they are used to dealing with challenge and change and we should be confident they will adapt.”

This is particularly true in Northern Ireland where business has had to cope with more challenging conditions than the present situation and survived, and indeed thrived. 

Whatever form the exit takes, (which could take two (or more) years,) there is likely to be an impact on the legal rights and obligations of business in all sectors, as well as the wider legal framework. We will be keeping a close eye on the legal ramifications for our clients and are very happy to discuss the position with any client who has concerns about the impact on their particular business.