Articles

  • August 2016
    Personal Injury Law and Brexit


    Will “Brexit” impact on your right to bring a claim if you are injured? The simple answer is “no”, at least not at present.

    “Europe” has imposed on national governments a duty to give citizens certain rights which then allow them to bring claims, covering such matters as road accidents whilst abroad, package holidays and health & safety at work. These do underpin a significant proportion of claims made in this country. However, claims can only be brought in the UK because our Parliament has brought those rights into UK law.

    It is thought that Brexit will not take place for at least 2 years and, until then, the UK will be obliged to comply with its obligations. By itself, Brexit will not lead to any changes in UK law so any rights which exist at present will not automatically cease. It will need a positive decision by Parliament to affect the existing rights.

    If we were to leave the EU, it would be open to Parliament to amend our legislation. It is then a political question as to whether the current rights should be changed. Some commentators say that being in the EU has created much red tape and that many regulations provide unnecessary "gold-plated" protection for workers and consumers which stifle competition and growth. There may be pressure to change this. The current UK government has, for instance, already stated that it wants to reduce existing EU protections such as removing the requirement for employers to provide eyesight tests for display screen equipment users, or be required to produce written risk assessments for small, low-risk businesses. Some commentators, however, believe that EU-led employment protection is a vital cornerstone of our current labour laws and would be reluctant to see this changed, at least significantly.

    What will happen in the future is uncertain. However, nothing should change for the next two years so, if you have been injured through no fault of your own, you should consult a solicitor to see what your options are.

    For further information contact Paul McGrath at paul.mcgrath@jackamans.co.uk or call 01379 643555.  

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