A question near the top of the Government’s agenda following the vote to leave the EU will be when to inform the EU that the UK intends to withdraw. Once that is done, there would then be a period of up to two years to reach an agreement. That period could be extended, but only if everyone agrees.
The agreement would deal with disentangling the UK from the rest of the EU. What should be done about EU nationals resident here and UK nationals resident in the EU, UK staff working for the EU, EU bodies based in the UK? Once out, the UK would need to strike new trade deals with the EU and other countries. This could take many years.
At the same time, all national rules based on EU obligations will need to be catalogued. Should they be kept or replaced? If the UK wants continued access to the Single Market, it may decide to leave some of them in place. If it decides to replace any, what should the new rules say?
All this will place an enormous burden on the Government and Civil Service and provide much work for lawyers.
Professor Anthony Arnull