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Making Sense of Brexit
Publication date: 2016-07-03

The Practical Consequences of UK Leaving the EU

There is much confusion and arguments about what will happen now that the majority of the British citizens had chosen to leave the European Union. But this confusion and arguments have no basis in reality.

The meaning of Brexit is simple: the UK will cease to be a member of the European Union.

The consequences of the cessation of membership is that the British government will no longer be bound the laws and regulations of the European Union, and will not be able to have direct influence on the internal affairs of the European Union.

But it does not mean that British businesses will not be able to trade with the countries members of the EU, or that British citizens and EU citizens will no longer be able to travel, study, work or even settle permanently on each other's territories, or that it will be impossible for the UK and EU to undertake common projects of any kind or cooperate in any way.

All the above will be possible, but instead of all the above being due to the UK membership of the EU, all these interactions will become subject to individual contractual agreements between two equal parties.

And while in the past the UK government had to accept whatever decisions were reached collectively by the members of the EU, now they will have the choice of making (or not making) any agreements it sees fit, subject, of course, to the EU accepting such agreements.

Obviously such transition cannot happen in a single day (date of the cessation of membership), but will need time. And to make the transition smooth the following procedure is suggested:

On the official date of the Cessation of Membership (CoM), all EU laws will cease to have effect within the UK, and the UK government will cease to have any participation in the governance of the EU.

But, all the arrangements relating to trading, cooperation in common projects, and movement of people, will be deemed to become contractual agreements between the two parties for a minimum of one year from the CoM date, with either of the parties being able to terminate or renegotiate the terms of these agreements at any time thereafter.

This will give the parties time to assess what relationships between them are for their mutual benefit, and to prepare for any changes they want to make.

There is nothing in UK's leaving the EU that prevents the UK government to continue with all the present arrangements between the parties. But leaving the EU gives the UK freedom to change its relationships with the EU, if such change is to their benefit.

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