On 23 June 2016, the UK electorate voted to leave the European Union in a so-called Brexit referendum. This historic decision raises significant challenges and potential opportunities for all multinational companies that trade with and operate in the UK. The potential impact of the referendum decision on core regulatory issues, affecting commercial areas and significant sectors of the economy can be found in DLA Piper's dedicated Brexit briefings.

The policy and regulatory experts in our Brexit working group have been analysing the potential impact of the UK's vote to leave the EU. They can help you make sure your business is prepared for the legislative changes that will follow and advise on the management of the risks involved.

The consequences of the decision to leave the European Union will not be known for some time. In the short term, nothing has changed. The referendum result does not have automatic effect and the UK remains a member of the European Union and must continue to abide by European laws and regulations.

EU law will continue to apply in the United Kingdom throughout the exit negotiation process. Therefore, all existing EU laws and regulations will remain in full force and effect until the terms of the United Kingdom's exit agreement have been concluded.

The outcome of the referendum paves the way for the next UK Prime Minister to formally signal the United Kingdom's intention to initiate the formal procedure which triggers the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union and the launch of exit negotiations. The outcome of these negotiations will define the United Kingdom's future relationship with its former European Union Partners.

Key issues to be resolved following the vote for Brexit will include the full range of policy and legislative implications of repatriating EU competencies over vital areas such as trade, competition and state aid, environmental regulation, and even intellectual property, back to the UK.