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As a direct access immigration barrister, I awoke this morning to the shock that the UK had voted to leave the EU. A body which despite its imperfections has maintained the peace throughout Europe for over 60 years – an unparalleled period of time.

I have already had the first clients contacting me asking what are the consequences. At present it is too early to say with any certainty. Whereas before I had a small contingent of EU applicants most applicants hailed from Africa, South Asia or beyond.

My advice would be to make whatever application you were considering to make as soon as possible. I would not wait. The UK government has shown an ability to change settled laws (think 14 years becoming 20 years almost overnight) and might use this vote to gather support.

I would urge anyone who is hoping for a longer period of time, has a child coming up to 7 or thinks they might have a case to get in touch with me or another reputable lawyer as soon as possible.

I will be holding extra surgeries for those worried about their status over the next few weeks in order to help. All I would urge clients not to do is to wait and hope for the best. The government has a record of tightening up the rules and law as against immigrants.

If you or a family member are worried or are thinking of making an application please get in touch and I will do my level best to fit you in as soon as possible. As you will have picked up my team now puts us in a unique position where we provide meetings at very short notice.

We can also provide short notice – over the telephone or Skype conferences as we have a number of American / US / Canadian clients.

Paul Turner is a highly regarded direct access immigration barrister and is the head of Imperium Chambers, Grays Inn Buildings, Grays Inn, WC1r 5ET, he also practises from Goldsmith Chambers, the chambers of Anthony Metzer QC and a door tenant at 39 Park Square Leeds LS1 2NU and is licensed by the Bar Council to litigate and to provide advice and representation directly to the public.