How long it will take for any changes to take place?
We have written extensively elsewhere in this site about the effects of Article 50. We await the Government giving The Article 50 Notice to the Treaty on the European Union.
What will happen to my existing EU staff?
Changes in legislation are likely to be gradual rather than immediate and while in theory citizens of the EU will no longer enjoy automatic rights to work in the UK, the right of EU workers to work here will form part of the negotiations to establish the UK’s new trading relationship with the EU.
Please let us help you by providing us with information about your EU national employees. Many of them might be permitted to stay and many of them might be allowed to have Permanent Residence. At present you can still employ personnel from EU member states and it may be that for future employees there will have to be visa applications. In the future, there may be limitations on the type of workers that will be allowed to seek employment in the UK. It may be that we will follow a Point Based System as detailed elsewhere on this site or alternatively visas may be granted for those professionals identified as having a particular skill.
What will happen when we travel abroad?
There may be changes in border security, for example the passport free border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. The current arrangement known as the Common Travel Agreement is an informal arrangement which means that no passport controls are in operation for Irish and UK citizens travelling between the two countries. If the UK introduces a significantly different immigration policy to Ireland, denying the automatic right of entry to EU citizens, then new controls would be introduced. By the same token the UK border with France could see some changes because France and the UK are bound by the Le Touquet Agreement. Some of France’s channel ports based in the UK and some French controls which are based in the UK side of the English Channel will have to be moved. With the end of this agreement, Right Wing politicians in France will be able to argue that it was exactly this arrangement which encouraged the establishment of migrant camps particularly around the port of Calais, and now following Brexit, this arrangement should not continue.
How will the Brexit result affect the rest of Europe?
The UK’s decision to leave the EU increases challenges faced by the Governments of France, Germany, Netherlands and other countries on the continent. The Anti-Euro, Anti-Immigration party in France and its leader Marie Le Pen has already seized the moment and has called for a similar referendum on French membership if she wins power. She said that in contrast to the UK, her country is part of the Eurozone and Schengen passport-free zone which have come under severe strain in recent years. She said that Brussels is totalitarian and requested to unwind it and to go back to a “Europe of nations”. The President of France, Francois Holland, is therefore adamant that there must be short term consequences for the UK because of its vote, as he wants to send a signal to other countries that it is unwise to negotiate new terms with Brussels.
In Germany there are worries about anti-EU sentiments. Germany feels that they have a special responsibility to ensure that European unity continues. Germany has already had to deal with quite a few problems; The global financial shock, the Greek rescue, the Ukrainian conflict, the refugee crisis and now Brexit. Germany has to tread carefully. On the one hand, by losing the UK it has to give orders, but then will be accused of domineering the Union .On the other hand , if it stays quiet it risks leaving a political vacuum for others to fill, namely the nationalists in France and elsewhere.
After Brexit comes Nexit according to the leader of the Right Wing anti-EU party in Netherlands. Mr Wilders tweeted “Hurrah for the Brits” and “now is the turn for the Dutch referendum”.
Populist parties such as Danish People’s Party and Sweden’s democrats are likely to try to exploit the Brexit vote for their own ends.