After the Brexit Vote: Parliament First, then Article 50 (Part 1 of 2)

So we have a ‪#‎Brexit‬ vote result. What next? A 2-step: first the parliament decides what to do, then the UK starts leaving the EU:

ONE: Parliamentary ratification, re-vote, or veto (maybe)

“The referendum result is not legally binding – Parliament still has to pass the laws that will get Britain out of the 28 nation bloc, starting with the repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act.

The withdrawal agreement also has to be ratified by Parliament – the House of Lords and/or the Commons could vote against ratification, according to a House of Commons library report.

It adds: ‘If the Commons resolves against ratification, the treaty can still be ratified if the Government lays a statement explaining why the treaty should nonetheless be ratified and the House of Commons does not resolve against ratification a second time within 21 days (this process can be repeated ad infinitum).'”

However, there appears to be no legal requirement for parliament to ratify, so there is more scope for debate and talks, so…

TWO: Brexit

This is Article 50 in the treaty.

“- First, Britain tells the European Council it wants to exit.
– Next, Britain and the E.U. negotiate the terms of the separation.
– Finally, both sides approve the terms.

Britain and the E.U. have two years to get all of this done. When time is up, Britain will no longer be a member of the European Union, even if an agreement has not been reached.”

From this summary in the New York Times.

But again, an entire country has never left the EU before, so who knows? These, at least, are the rules as we have them.

Well… Greenland, a part of Denmark, did in 1982. It took them almost three years and they have a fishing economy. Technically, the UK has only two years and it has a bigger and much more complex economy.

Divorce can sometimes be painful, he said, but it did not have to be messy. The secret to breaking up is the same for states as for people – good planning, good sense and an ability to learn how to live and trade together in a shrinking world.

From Carolyn Quinn’s article investigating the Greenland-exit.

Here’s something (a bit of a dense read) on the legal implications. During an exit, it seems like the disentanglement of European and British laws will be the most head-scratching bit.

Here is an interesting infographic on possibilities.

It looks like what’s certain is more debating, campaigning and negotiating in the next few years (2 to 10 years).

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