The dust has just about settled after the referendum, and firms have had some time to reflect on the result and what it might mean. This is of course a time of uncertainty, and we expect that uncertainty to prevail for some time, but this does not mean it is not possible for firms to undertake some measured forward planning.

What we do know at the moment is that:

  1. despite the political upheaval of recent weeks, nothing has changed from a legal perspective – for now, things will continue as they were; and
  2. the direction of travel will start to become clearer once some of the known unknowns are settled – when exactly will Article 50 be triggered, what will be the UK’s stance in negotiations, will the UK be able to negotiate its future relationship with the EU at the same time as its withdrawal?

Consequently, firms need to be getting on with things as usual to an extent, whilst also keeping an eye on developments and starting to plan ahead as matters progress. Nothing is going to change immediately, so there is no need for panic. Equally, though, there will be change ahead and whilst the shape of that change will not be known for some time, there are steps that firms usefully can be taking now not only to prepare themselves but also to seek to influence the direction of travel.