On Thursday 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The first step is for the UK government to decide whether or not, and if so when, to issue a notice to withdraw under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.
Before the Referendum the UK Government stated that, in the event of a vote to leave the EU, the UK would serve its notice to withdraw under Article 50, which triggers a two year period of negotiation of a withdrawal agreement. However, there was no indication of when the UK would serve such notice and even the “Leave” camp was divided about whether or not it would be appropriate to serve the notice immediately.
The immediate result is therefore a period of uncertainty while the Government decides how to deal with this. This will be coupled with uncertainty about the future of the Prime Minister and the Government itself.
In the meantime, from a legal point of view, the UK remains a part of the EU, EU citizens have the same rights in the UK as before and the "four freedoms" (of goods, persons, services and capital) will be preserved, for the time being.
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