According to Bloomberg, “The U.K.’s departure from the European Union may turn out to be the most tortured divorce proceeding in history.” This article provides more detail on the exact steps involved and the fact it could easily take years for the various negotiations.
Talks on Britain’s departure can start as soon as the U.K. triggers Article 50. Legally, there must be separate sets of negotiations — one relating to the U.K. extricating itself from its current arrangements, the other dealing with the two sides’ eventual future relationship — a process that will postpone Britain’s clean break for years if the EU insists talks on the second can’t start until the first is concluded.
In fact, there may need to be six sets of agreements: an EU divorce deal, a new U.K.-EU trade regime, an interim EU accord to cover the period between them, full membership in the World Trade Organization, new trade deals with other countries, and new foreign policy and defense arrangements.
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