United Kingdom – Brexit and the consequences for UK immigration

While experts agree that the impacts of this vote will be far reaching when it comes to the UK, EU, and world economy, international laws and treaties, socio-political movements, and a multitude of immigration regulations and programs, there remains more questions than answers surrounding “Brexit” and its future implications.

Brexit – UK votes to leave European Union

Winning 52 per cent of the popular vote, the “Leave” campaign provided a bold statement of UK dissatisfaction with the EU and many of its open policies on the economy and immigration. However, the next steps for the UK and the EU alike are unclear at best and influenced by a multitude of factors.

If we were to remove all of the current political and social factors surrounding this recent vote, in purely legal terms, an EU member state wishing to depart the Union must invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which then triggers a two-year transitional period during which the terms of the exit and future interactions with the EU are negotiated. If no agreement is reached within those two years, the departing country exits the EU without any legal treaties or agreements to the Union and, reciprocally, the remaining EU member states have no legal obligations to the departing country. If an agreement is met, many political, economic, and immigration measures could remain the same: the economy could remain inextricably linked into the EU Single Market and certain tenants of the EU Freedom of Movement rules may stay in place. Alternatively, an agreement may also see the UK make a clean break from the EU which would result in a significant overhaul of their EU immigration program.

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