How Britain Could Exit ‘Brexit’
By Max Fisher
In the days since Britons voted to leave the European Union, the so-called “Brexit” referendum has created such severe turmoil that public attention is increasingly focused on an extreme option: Can they get out of it?
Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday that he considered the referendum binding and that “the process of implementing the decision in the best possible way must now begin.” But he also said he would leave that process to his successor, after his expected resignation in October. This opens a window of at least four months during which time Britain could decide not to proceed, and avoid consequences from Europe.
If the next prime minister does trigger the departure process, Britain then has two years to negotiate the terms of its leaving. While European Union rules say that membership is revoked automatically at the end of that period, Britain could theoretically use that time to negotiate an alternative plan.