Can we re-join the EU? What happens if there is no deal? The burning Brexit questions

A European Union flag flies in central London as Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to trigger A

A European Union flag flies in central London as Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to trigger Article 50, which will start the UK's formal withdrawal from the EU. Nick Ansell/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Can the UK re-join the European Union?

Politically it is pretty unlikely, but technically there is nothing stopping Britain from re-joining the European Union.

It is unlikely that we would re-join on the current terms of our membership, which includes many opt-outs when it comes to law and policy.

Most new members are expected to join the Euro and Britain would probably have to join the Schengen (common travel).


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What will happen to European Union citizens once Article 50 is triggered?

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Nothing immediately. The prime minister has said the rights of the three million EU nationals in the UK and the one million British ex-pats living in the EU will only be settled on a reciprocal basis as part of the negotiations. Both sides have said it is top of the agenda.

The EU parliament's top negotiator Guy Verhofstadt wants EU citizens who move to the UK up to 2019 to be granted the right to stay and work, but there are reports Number 10 wants March 29, 2017 to be the cut off point.

If we don't strike a deal, can the two year negotiating period be extended?

Under the rules of Article 50, the UK will ceases to be a member of the EU two years after it has been invoked and will no longer be subject to its treaties, whether or not a withdrawal agreement has been reached.

This date can be extended for further negotiations if all member states agree. It is not yet clear whether the exit clock can be stopped by the UK withdrawing its Article 50 notification.

If no trade deal has been reached by this point, it is possible that UK-EU relations will continue to be governed for months or years after official withdrawal by a 'transitional arrangement'. The government has made clear a deal could be introduced gradually during an 'implementation phase'.

Will I have to get a visa to travel abroad?

Nothing will change until the two-year negotiation period is over. The European health insurance card will also remain valid.

After that it is not yet clear. This will be an issue for negotiations. UK citizens wishing to enter the Schengen Area might need a tourist or business visa that caps the amount of time spent in a member country to three months a year after we leave, depending on the exit deal.

Will immigration levels fall?

Theresa May has made it clear that control over immigration will be at the heart of Brexit negotiations. Brexit secretary David Davis admitted on Monday that Britain's immigration levels will rise if there's an economic need for them to do so. The government has said that they will make sure certain industries such as health and social care and agriculture have the labour they need to do the work.

What about all the EU laws, such as my rights in the workplace and rules and regulations?

Plans for the 'Great Repeal Bill' are set to be published shortly. It will place the entire body of EU law onto the UK statute books. Thousands of amendments will need to be made before we actually leave, some taking out references to EU institutions others requiring a whole regulatory regime to be replaced with a British regime.

Will Scotland leave the United Kingdom?

The Scottish National Party is pushing for another independence referendum, They say the Scottish people should have the right to choose between the 'significant and profound' change that Brexit will cause and independence, The prime minister has said there will be no new Scottish vote before Brexit.

Will the City of London still be so important?

The European Central Bank has made it clear that Britain cannot access the passporting system, which allows financial firms to trade freely across the EU, without remaining a member of the European single market and abiding by its rules, including the free movement of people. City bosses and politicians want a transitional deal to prevent an exodus to rival financial centres.

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