Even though the results of this week’s referendum have revealed that Great Britain wants to leave the European Union, it will take a while until the process will be completed. According to The Guardian, leaders of Germany, France and Italy have insisted that talks about the leaving process won’t be held unless Britain formally applies to leave the Union, which is expected to happen before the end of 2016.
German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Francois Hollande and Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi had agreed that “there will be no formal or informal talks about Britain’s exit”,says the above mentioned source, until the United Kingdom triggers article 50, which refers to the procedure a member state has to follow before leaving.
“Being responsible means not wasting time in engaging with the question of Britain’s departure and setting this new impulse we want to lend the new European Union,” Francois Hollande said. “Nothing is worse than uncertainty – and Britain has already had painful experience of this”.
Despite the result, Britain seems skeptical about leaving and hasn’t launched the formal exit procedures. Article 50 will be activated only when they will have a “clear view” of what this will mean and how it will affect the country’s future relations with the Union, said Chancellor George Osborne.
After resigning, former Prime Minister David Cameron has specifically asked his successor and to talk terms of a possible withdrawal deal, but before locking Great Britain into the two-year timeframe, mentioned in Article 50.
However, Brussels answer regarding this issue was short and clear: “No notification, no negotiation,” an official said. “If they treat their referendum as a non-event, we will also treat their referendum as a non-event.”
Finally, we need to mention that the European Union can’t force Great Britain, from any legal point of view, to start the exist process. Still, they will be given until the end of the year to launch the procedures, making sure that they have enough time to totally exit the Union before 2019, when European parliament elections are scheduled.