24 June 2016: Britain Votes to Leave: In a 1974 judgement Lord Denning wrote of the (then) European Community Treaty “The treaty is like an incoming tide. It flows into the estuaries and up the rivers. It cannot be held back.” With the vote of the British public to leave the EU, that tide will now begin to recede.
Once Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is invoked, it may take two years for Britain to finally leave. In the short-term, it appears unlikely that UK laws implementing EU Directives will be repealed or amended. Many of those laws have become so entrenched in the legal framework that they are likely to survive for years to come.
On leaving, Britain will no longer be subject to rulings in the European Court of Justice. However the European Court of Human Rights is separate to the EU, and Brexit will not of itself affect that court’s judgements in the UK.
An apocryphal Chinese curse is “May you live in interesting times“. Changes to the British political and legal landscape over the next few years will certainly be interesting.