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Business as Usual?

Our departure from the EU slipped by at 11pm last Friday without any noticeable change to our daily lives!

In fact, a number of government organisations were very quick to tell me by email on Saturday morning that definitely nothing had changed in terms of regulatory compliance!

The Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency and a clutch of other government departments/agencies have been busy telling me this and I’m sure any hopes and dreams of us leaving behind any dreaded EU directives and regulations are a little premature!

The duties that you have to discharge from a regulatory view point created by EU directives & regulations are still unaltered and are still requiring your attention and compliance.

Of course, over this year we will see the fruit or not of the government’s negotiations with the EU and the position may change.

That said, I would be prepared that the status quo will remain and where EU law has been adopted into domestic legislation –  don’t expect a bonfire of EU legislation.

Where I see a divergence from EU legislation will be achieved a little more subtly and over a longer period of time. We now have the possible advantage to choose what pieces of EU legislation from a regulatory view point are appropriate and potentially adopt them into UK legislation or discard them and adopt our solutions to particular regulatory issues.

For me, this is a welcome potential development. The ability for us to choose legislation which is relevant in particular to the situation prevailing at the time in the UK, rather than trying to adopt EU legislation which may be particularly specific and easy to comply with in some countries in the EU, but not necessarily the UK.

I am currently concluding a lengthy and time consuming case for a client who has been objecting to complying with some environmental legislation adopted from Europe, which is wholly inappropriate in the context of the client’s operations in the UK.

In an ideal future, I would like to think that Parliament would have created legislation which is tailored to our needs in the UK and prevent the costs and wasted time in trying to adopt legislation designed to generically apply to all the member states rather than specifically to one.

Unfortunately, only time will tell if we ultimately end up with regulatory systems which do this – fingers crossed that we do!