On 23 June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union, though voters in Scotland voted for the UK to remain by 62% to 38%.

What now?

It is of course too early to predict what will happen in the medium and long term, but employers in the food & drink sector undoubtedly have pressing questions about what to do in the short term.

What about EU nationals working for us?

For EU nationals working in the UK, nothing changes immediately from a legal perspective. The UK is still a full member of the EU and will be until the date of an exit _ whether that is agreed or happens by default two years after the UK notifies its intention to leave the EU. If you employ EU nationals, you can reassure them that they can continue to live and work in Scotland for now.

But what happens post-Brexit?

At one end of the spectrum of options, if the UK accepts the principle of free movement of workers as part of any overall agreement with the EU, nothing will change for EU nationals.

But many 'Leave' campaigners advocated tighter controls on EU immigration, with talk of a points-based system. There may be some form of 'amnesty' for those currently working here, but it is possible that EU nationals, particularly those arriving between now and the exit date, would not have an automatic right to live and work in the UK.

If you employ EU nationals, it will be worth considering the extent of any possible impact, including whether you might need a sponsorship licence (to allow you to employ foreign workers) in the future.

Bear in mind that under the current UK system for non-EU immigration, although skilled workers can gain entry if there is a shortage, entry is currently closed to low-skilled workers. If you are likely to need low-skilled workers from abroad in the future, you might want to make your voice heard at government level now to try to ensure that this issue plays a role in negotiations.

EU nationals working in the UK, who are anxious to preserve their current status, may want to consider applying for UK citizenship or exploring other options to secure their status.

Will there be any changes for employment law?

In terms of employment law, nothing changes at this point. Employment legislation is unchanged, and the impact of European case law on how employers manage their workers is unchanged.

There has been talk of a 'bonfire of workers' rights' and of 'cutting red tape' in the event of Brexit. Again, much will depend on the UK's future relationship with the EU: some potential trade arrangements would involve the UK accepting some, or even all, EU employment law.

Even if this is not the case, most EU employment law will remain in force post-Brexit unless and until amended by a future government.

Sweeping reforms may not be politically attractive given that UK voters have come to expect a certain level of workplace protection. Likewise, many employment rights, including unfair dismissal and the minimum wage, don't in fact stem from the EU. In other cases, the UK deliberately provides protection that exceeds the EU minimum, prime examples being maternity and shared parental leave and the right to 5.6 weeks' holiday (as opposed to the EU four-week minimum). Brexit would be unlikely, by itself, to spark a major policy change in these areas.

On the other hand, a future government might be keen to depart from EU requirements on the likes of agency workers, working time and TUPE. But even in these cases, changes are likely to be some way off and will very much depend on the shape of that government.

The last word? Not by a long shot...

Brexit raises a range of legal questions. Unfortunately, dependant as they are on politics and negotiations, the answers are still some way off. In the meantime, businesses should keep themselves well informed and ensure that their voice is heard on issues that will impact on them.

To keep up-to-date with the key legal issues associated with Brexit, make sure you visit Brodies' Brexit Hub