Over the last few weeks, you’ll have most likely heard a great deal about Brexit and the referendum!
The UK voted to leave, but just how do we do this and when will it happen?
Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union establishes the process for a Member State to withdraw from the EU. Until this process is completed, the UK will remain a member of the EU. This means that the UK will still be able to exert its influence over EU legislation; we can still retain our voting rights, institutional privileges and personnel within the EU. All EU law will still apply while we technically remain a Member; including our access to the internal market.
To start the process, the UK must formally notify the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU. Article 50 foresees a period of 2 years for the completion of the process, but this can be extended by a unanimous decision of all Member States and the UK. The negotiations will need to deal with a variety of issues, such as the rights of citizens and businesses currently living and operating in other Member States. The new agreement will set out the new legal rights and obligations between the UK and the EU when our membership ceases.
There is a lot of uncertainty at the current time and we hope that the interests of the UK are upheld. Remember: although we’ve had a referendum, the decision to actually invoke Article 50 remains with Parliament.