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Brexit – What Happens Next?

Published 28 June 2016

As people across the UK woke up on Friday morning, checked their phones or switched on their TV’s, many were shocked to hear the news that the UK had voted to leave the EU. Whether many responded with horror or delight, the news was certainly unexpected.

5 days on, the result is continuing to dominate the headlines, and scrolling through the various news outlets for some clarity on what happens next is quite a daunting and difficult task.

What happens next?

In reality, the next step is the initiation of Article 50 by either the current Prime Minister or his successor. Article 50 (of the Treaty on the European Union) is essentially the ‘resignation letter’, which then grants a 2 year notice period until the UK must finally leave the EU.

After the formal notification of leave is given, the next step will be to commence proceedings with the EU regarding the terms of withdrawal. During this time a number of other issues must be addressed, specifically the negotiation of new arrangements with the EU and other countries, and the restructuring of UK law (which has been tied together with EU legislation since 1973).*

What happens in the future?

The current situation of uncertainty has clouded any ideas for long term goals; however it will be likely that Brexit will dominate Government policy going forward. Ultimately the goal for all involved will be to create stable structures to ensure that the UK does not end up worse off as a result of Brexit.*

What happens on a local scale?

The news on Friday morning did seemingly cause a sensation across the region. For now, everything will continue as it was before the vote, and adopting a ‘business as usual’ approach will be imperative for maintaining stability across all sectors.

The weeks and months ahead will give indication of what is in store for the county. It will not be an overnight transition, and there will no doubt be many bumps in the road ahead, but at this point it is important for everyone to sit back, take stock and think about how we all move forward together.

Gordon McElroy – Director of MKB Law and President of the Belfast Chamber – can advise businesses across Belfast and Northern Ireland on a range of matters that may be affected due to Brexit. To arrange an appointment call 028 9024 2450 or email info@mkblaw.co.uk

Source: LNB News 24/06/2016 113 Time to Brexit—article 50 and what lies ahead

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