As immediate political and economic shockwaves of the referendum result pass in days to come, and the UK begins to adjust to a different future, there are few certainties about how the legal and financial frameworks will ultimately be affected. It is impossible to predict long term legal changes as so much turns on the nature of the UK's relationship with the EU after negotiations.
Yet it may be reasonably assumed that, in the short to medium term, life will go on with the UK using much of the legislation that has been adopted over the past 40 years from the EU, which the UK has of course substantially helped in formulating.
EU legislation has long given added protection to UK residents as citizens, consumers and workers, derived from EU wide action to protect the environment, prevent monopolistic abuse of market power, and to protect employees and other workers from insecurity and discrimination in the workplace.
Yet being out of the EU is not suddenly a mandate to put the clock back 40 years on such matters. The world has moved on and many protections derived from EU legislation still have their place in making people's lives better, so we must work on the basis that fundamental changes in such matters are unlikely. The UK will, however, be needing a strong national law reform programme to look hard at what it should do for itself in the future, addressing its own particular issues and learning from wider international experience to legislate wisely in keeping with national interest.
The next challenge is a broader one of how to seriously increase UK trade and investment with the rest of the world as well as the EU, and here Clarkslegal has been very active building global relationships, especially with the vast and growing Commonwealth family of 2.2 billion people in 53 member nations. The majority of Commonwealth citizens are young, contrasting with the ageing Europe. There is now an urgent need to engage very strongly with the Commonwealth and its numerous active professional, business and civil society organisations.
Our associated Forbury Investment Network has in alliance with the Royal Commonwealth Society built links and operating hubs across the Commonwealth, focused mainly on facilitating trade and investment in sustainable technologies particularly vital to developing nations threatened by climate change and resource scarcity. We have also been very involved in helping create and administer a new UK charity for environmental benefits in Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated and environmentally vulnerable Commonwealth nations which also has deep links with the UK.
The big problems of the world are the same as they were before the UK referendum, with many countries vulnerable to global warming, sea level rise, extreme weather, and rapidly growing populations facing long term shortages of water and food.
The UK must play its important part, and use its immense professional and technical expertise even more actively, to help the Commonwealth work better together in mutual interest.
To leave the EU does not mean isolation if the UK resolves to be even more globally collaborative and use its exceptional historic links with the many countries of the world who largely share our language, legal frameworks and the principles of the rule of law.
For more information on our Commonwealth work see www.theceip.com.
The world needs more global co-operation and collaboration, not less, and the UK must reinforce its role on the world stage to help address the immense challenges of the 21st century which no referendum can resolve.