British expats – what next?

The short answer is, “Nothing yet.”

Following the vote to leave the EU, and the inevitable shock waves that has produced, Angloinfo World Blogs reviews what will happen next.

Within the last hour, David Cameron has announced that he will stand down as Prime Minister, but not until October. For now, he will remain where he is to “steady the ship” over the coming weeks. He said in his speech to expats in the EU:

“I would also reassure Brits living in European countries, and European citizens living here, that there will be no immediate changes in your circumstances. There will be no initial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move or the way our services can be sold.”

“We must now prepare for a negotiation with the European Union. This will need to involve the full engagement of the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland governments to ensure that the interests of all parts of our United Kingdom are protected and advanced.” Read his full speech here.

Quitting the EU has to be negotiated, it is not any overnight thing. Even if the UK government invokes Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, it will take at least two years before the exit is agreed by the other Member States of the EU.

“Parliament would have to amend or repeal a series of other Acts, as well as 44 years’ worth of EU-derived secondary legislation, especially statutory instruments passed under Section 2(2) of the 1972 Act, which would have no legal effect after it had been repealed,” writes Mark D’Arcy the BBC’s parliamentary correspondent.