Britain’s campaign to leave the European Union succeeded on Thursday, sending global markets into a panic as investors struggled to predict just what might happen next.
The so-called Brexit raises a lot of questions about the UK’s economic, financial and political future. Below is a rundown of a few questions people are asking in the wake of Brexit.
How long will it take for Britain to officially leave the EU?
According to Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the procedure for withdrawing from the EU could take two years. That’s the amount of time Britain has to negotiate a new relationship with the bloc.
How does Brexit impact trade with the EU?
While a move out of the EU would affect Britain’s terms of trade, the exact details would depend on the nature of Britain’s future agreement with the bloc. In general, Britain has three broad options in which to choose:
Norwegian Model: By remaining in the European Economic Arena, Britain would still be able to access the European Union and participate in the free flow of workers but without any say in how these agreements evolve.
New Agreement: Britain has the option of negotiating an entirely new trade agreement with the now 27-member EU.
WTO Rules: Britain can also choose to continue trading with the EU under rules stipulated by the World Trade Organization (WTI). This would avoid the complexity of creating a new free-trade agreement, but would also remove any favourable relationships Britain has with the EU or any other trading bloc.
Will British citizens still be allowed to live and work in the EU?
This depends on the nature of Britain’s future relationship with the EU (see above). As it now stands, Britain is free to negotiate any deal it believes is most beneficial.
Is the EU referendum legally binding?
Given that UK Parliament is sovereign, Prime Minister David Cameron is not legally bound to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. In other words, the simple answer is “no.” In reality, however, Mr. Cameron and the rest of his government would face a massive political backlash if it decided not to enact the outcome of referendum.
What are the economic consequences of Brexit?
The economic impact of Brexit is one of the most controversial topics in the debate. However, the strong majority of economists and research institutes strongly believe that Brexit will negatively impact the British economy, at least in the short term.
Will David Cameron remain Prime Minister?
While David Cameron is not obliged to step down as Prime Minister, it may be exceedingly difficult for him to remain on as leader of the majority Conservative government. Mr. Cameron has already received calls to step down.
If Mr. Cameron decides to step down, he would most likely announce his resignation to the Conservative Party. He would likely remain Prime Minister for an interim period until the party decides on a suitable replacement.
Will there be a general election?
UK law states that general elections must be held every five years, with two exceptions: (1) a majority of Members of Parliament pass a no-confidence vote in the government or (2) two-thirds of the House of Commons support a motion for an early election. It’s unclear whether either of these two options will transpire in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.
 Ian Wishart and Matthew Campell (June 24, 2016). “What Now? Brexit Win Sets Stage for Two Years of Bitter Talks.” Bloomberg.
 Max Colchester (June 23, 2016). “What Happens to the British Prime Minister David Cameron if ‘Brexit’ Wins?” The Wall Street Journal.
Source:: Brexit FAQ