23rd June 2016
As we all know by now, on the 23rd June 2016 the United Kingdom held a referendum on its continued membership of the European Union. The majority voted to leave, the Prime Minister resigned, the Pound tanked to lows not seen for decades, and before we knew it, Theresa May became the new Prime Minister and gave a clear statement that 'Brexit Means Brexit'.
Nothing has actually changed
Despite all all the talk that the UK is going to be a global leader in free trade, that things are going to be good outside of the EU, and that we'll 'take back control', in reality, nothing at all has changed. Other than not being present at a handful of EU summits, it's really just business as usual.
The United Kingdom is still part of the EU, and in fact, we haven't even given notice that we'll be leaving yet.
To Article 50, or not to Article 50?
There seems to be a lot of confusion in the Cabinet, in the press, and in the general public as to what we should do next. Some are saying Article 50 - the mechanism by which notice of a country's membership of the EU is given, starting a two year withdrawal process - should be triggered straight away, whilst others, including the Prime Minister, prefer to wait until a 'game plan' is formed.
Which opens the can of worms that is 'What do we want our future relationship with the EU to be?'
That's the million pound question, and until we have decided, we're in no man's land. Part of the problem at the moment is that nobody can agree on anything.
Despite statements from the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs making statements, 10 Downing Street shot them down immediately, which begs the question that if the Cabinet can't even agree on a position, what hope do we have?
The issue of Free Movement is going to be at the centre of any negotiations.
The Presidents of the Commission, Council and Parliament have all stated that without accepting free movement, Britain cannot remain a member of the Single Market. The leaders of individual countries may disagree, and France and Germany are the big hitters in all of this, but the Visegrad 4 - Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia - have also indicated that they'll veto any deal that restricts free movement for their citizens.
Up until now, we've had no indication at all of what our future immigration policy will be, at least in terms of EU citizens. I don't see anything at all happening until the Government can work out what is both economically viable and politically acceptable.
Basically, there's an elephant in the room, and once that elephant has been confronted, things will start to become a little bit clearer
What do you think the next move is? Should Article 50 be triggered tomorrow? Should we wait? Should we remain a member of the Single Market, or not? Let me know in the comments.