Britain’s courts face gridlock if the country crashes out of the EU without a deal, legal profession leaders have warned, claiming that confusion over rights would trigger a “wave of litigation”.
Quitting the union without a trade deal also risks tarnishing the reputation of London as the venue of choice for high-value dispute resolution, according to the Law Society, the body that represents solicitors in England and Wales.
It said that the “no deal scenario” would “bring an end to a whole raft of reciprocal arrangements” such as those covering data protection, chemical regulation and security and policing collaboration.
“We can expect a tremendous volume of litigation as companies challenge government and other agencies in the courts to obtain clarity on their legal rights,” Christina Blacklaws, the society’s vice-president, said.
“Companies operating in the UK and EU will also face the challenge of dual regulation, a burden which will fall hardest on small and medium-sized businesses.
“Many companies will struggle to function when they are forced to wait months to understand their legal rights and obligations under a new framework.”