As the day of the EU referendum looms with its currently uncertain outcome, the question is, what will a ‘leave’ or ‘remain’ vote mean for the
Obviously, in the immediate term, a potential Brexit is
having a very real impact on the reform agenda. Both consultation and
implementation dates are being delayed amid fears of being too political. We
are currently in a ‘purdah’ period – a time when nothing of substance is
permitted to come out of Government lest it sways the debate.
Delay in reforms is advantageous to the injured person if
the changes are to their detriment - for example, the removal of a right to
compensation. Delay is unhelpful if the changes could improve the position for
the injured person - discussions on altering the discount rate have been going
on for a staggering five years to date, and during this time many people have
lost their opportunity to benefit from a more sensible calculation.
Once votes are cast, however, the Government is keen to get
back to business. Rumours are rife of a huge pile of consultations sitting
there ready to go.
Have no fear, therefore, that if the outcome is ‘remain’, we
will start to see consultations thick and fast. First on the list is likely to
be the consultation on fixed costs in clinical negligence claims, with the
small claims consultation following in late summer / autumn.
A ‘leave’ vote may mean that we don’t see many of these
consultations for some time as the Government will have bigger fish to fry as
it begins the long process of extracting us from Europe and its legislative