On 23 June 2016, the UK held a referendum where voters indicated that the country should leave the EU. The purpose of this client update is solely to comment on the potential impact for the Cayman Islands and the BVI.
The referendum vote itself was advisory rather than binding and the consequences of the vote, and the timing of the next steps, will be determined by the UK Parliament.
We understand that the negotiation of the UK's withdrawal from the EU is expected to take two years from the date on which Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is triggered. Current reports indicate that an Article 50 notification is only likely to occur once a new UK Prime Minister has been appointed, which is anticipated to happen by the time of the UK Conservative Party conference in October 2016.
Although the Cayman Islands and the BVI are overseas territories of the UK, they are not part of the EU (as is the case with Gibraltar).
Accordingly, we do not foresee an immediate or significant impact on the Cayman Islands or the BVI as a result of the referendum outcome and are satisfied that the relationship between the UK and each of the Cayman Islands and the BVI will remain the same.
As EU law does not apply to the Cayman Islands or the BVI, current Cayman Islands legislation and BVI legislation will remain unaffected. The current judicial system for both the Cayman Islands and the BVI, with the UK's Privy Council as their respective ultimate court of appeal, will remain unaffected.
If clients require more detailed EU-focused advice on the referendum's implications, the partners in our full service law firm in Ireland stand ready to assist. Alternatively, please liaise with your usual Maples group contact or any of the following for more information:
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