UK and Scots law face probably the most challenging development requirements of modern times. We are about to embark on unpicking over 40 years of EU legislation, cases and policy development. We will remove ourselves from the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU).
The Great Repeal Bill and its accompanying, although as yet not fully named or identified, daughter Bills are expected over the summer. Civil servants and government lawyers in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast will be looking at thousands of pieces of EU inspired legislation and wondering how to convert them into UK law.
Parliaments and Assemblies in Westminster, Holyrood, Cardiff Bay and Stormont (when it resumes) will be thinking about how to properly scrutinise the tsunami of legislation about to cross their desk over and above the "day job".
The Supreme Court will be thinking about how it will deal with questions of EU law interpretation in their new role as the final UK appeal court on EU derived matters post Brexit and without the benefit of the guiding hand of Court in Luxemburg on EU matters.
In short EU law is not going to disappear from the UK overnight or indeed anytime soon. This may come as a surprise to some of those who cast their votes for Brexit last June. However this reflects the reality of how closely many of the rights we enjoy and obligations we owe to others are firmly grounded in EU law. The chances of this happening quickly are unrealistic and the only real dispute is how many years or decades this might take in practice to legally disentangle the UK from the EU.
Economically, in the short term, Brexit has not had the disastrous effect some suggested would result. The value of the pound is certainly down as UK tourists heading abroad this summer will find to their cost. Share values are however up. The property market remains buoyant at present. In Scotland the housing market appears to be holding up. However there are some signs of slowing in the markets which is laid by some as the inevitable, if slightly delayed, effect of Brexit.
The politics in the UK however is the greatest uncertainty which few would have predicted last June. Perhaps not surprisingly, the then incumbent PM resigned. We had a new PM, Mrs May, appointed who moved inexorably towards a hard Brexit with red lines for leaving the jurisdiction of the CJEU, the single market and all that means for free movement of people and the customs union. The suggestion by the Scottish Government in their paper "Scotland's Place in Europe" that in the absence of Scottish independence, the UK and Scotland in some form should settle for membership of the single market or the European Economic Area (the Norway model), was roundly dismissed as not in accord with the red lines set out by the Government.
An election, which may have seemed like a good call at the time, and a hung Parliament later, Brexit negotiations began in Brussels this week. Despite a totally different Parliamentary landscape, David Davis the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, headed off to open negotiations from the same hard Brexit position and with the same red lines which were in place before the election. Whether that continues to be a tenable position remains to be seen.
The UK election may however have relieved the UK Government of the immediate pressure to allow a vote on Indyref2 in Scotland. Perhaps that would have been a layer of legal and political uncertainty too far at this stage.
Brussels and M. Barnier appear to have won round one by imposing their timetable and agenda on Phase One negotiations. Mr Davis seems to have accepted that position. The only matters to be discussed will be the cost of the "divorce" settlement, EU and UK citizens rights and other separation issues which probably means the Irish/UK Border. Only if those go well will the EU negotiators move on the trade and the other issues the UK wants to talk about. Over all these talks hangs a sword of Damocles that nothing in the negotiations is agreed until all is agreed.
Time is marching on. In practice there is just over a year before any Brexit agreement needs to be in a format which can be put before the European Parliament prior to the Article 50 notification taking effect in March 2019. The next European elections are due in June 2019. There is a lot of work to be done and I suspect a winding path to be followed by the UK negotiators with many changes of direction, large and small before the exit agreement is finalised. Then they move on to the trade and transitional agreements.
In the meantime later this week at Westminster we will hear the delayed Queen's speech with the surprises that might bring, and perhaps a first sight of the Great Repeal Bill, or whatever it's more parliamentary title will be.