Brexit Overload? 4 Key Questions after Britain’s Vote to Exit the EU

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London at night

London at night

What Happens Now?

Little will change in the upcoming two to two and one-half years. Britain must first invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union which established the procedures for a member state to withdraw. Article 50 requires the member state in question to notify the European Union of its plans and obliges it to negotiate a withdrawal agreement.

Britain will then have a two-year window in which to negotiate a new treaty to replace the terms of EU membership. Britain and EU leaders would have to come to terms on myriad issues ranging from trade tariffs to migration to the regulation of such disparate issues as automobile registrations and agriculture.

Although the best-case scenario being discussed would leave Britain in a similar situation as Norway, which is not an EU member but has agreed to abide by many EU rules and regulations in order to gain favorable access to the common market. Many, however, believe that the European Union will not go that route as it does not want to encourage other member states to contemplate their own Brexits.

Meanwhile, Brexit could serve as the trigger for the break up of Great Britain. Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly Remain and is considering a second independence vote, and politicians in Northern Ireland, which also voted decisively to remain, are considering the possibility of reunification.

What is the Effect of Brexit on Travel?

As a consequence of the plummeting British pound Americans are already finding bargains in hotels and shopping in Britain. However, the currency may fluctuate substantially in the coming year while the details of the Brexit are fleshed out.

British subjects traveling abroad, however, may be in for sticker shock.

Since Britain is not a member of the Schengen zone, there will be little change for Americans or Europeans traveling to the British Isles until Brexit actually occurs. Currently, holders of EU passports must show a valid ID card or passport when traveling to or from the United Kingdom, but, unlike visitors from other countries, they face less scrutiny from immigration officials when entering as their EU citizenship entitles them to do so.

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