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What will be the immediate impact of Brexit vote?

Published 25/06/2016

A remain supporter stops to talk to people as he walks around with his European flag across the street from the Houses of Parliament in London.
A remain supporter stops to talk to people as he walks around with his European flag across the street from the Houses of Parliament in London.

The electorate has voted for change. Disentangling the UK from the EU will take years. So what immediate difference will the Brexit vote make?

:: Holidaymakers heading abroad this summer will have to pay more after the pound plunged against every single major currency group.

:: Petrol and diesel prices could rise within days due sterling's dive, according to the Petrol Retailers Association and the AA.

:: But shoppers have been reassured that "nothing will change overnight" as the fall in the value of the pound will take time to feed through.

:: Mortgage holders could benefit from even lower interest rates with some City experts predicting the base rate could be chopped even further.

:: House prices may also dip as buyers wait for the dust to settle.

How about immigration?

:: Although immigration dominated much of the referendum debate, there will be no immediate curbs on numbers arriving and EU citizens already here will not lose the right to stay.

:: Longer term, Brexiteers made control of the UK's borders a lynchpin of their campaign. Options include adopting an "Australian-style" points-based system to allow in skilled workers needed for the economy, or extending restrictions that currently govern non-EU immigration to those arriving from the continent.

:: But any attempt to restrict immigration will face resistance from some employers. Farmers have already expressed concerns about the availability of labour. And there are also fears the Brexit vote could affect the health service, which is heavily reliant on foreign workers. NHS England's medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh has called on the service to make European staff "feel welcome" in the wake of the result.

So when will the UK actually leave the EU?

:: Boris Johnson has said there is no need for "haste" but senior EU representatives have said the UK should implement Brexit "as soon as possible, however painful that process may be".

:: To kick the process off, the UK will have to invoke Article 50 of the 2007 Lisbon Treaty, the mechanism by which a member state can leave the union. But David Cameron has said he would leave it to his successor to invoke the law, meaning it will not happen until after a new leader is in place in the autumn.

:: When it is finally invoked, it will trigger a period of negotiation over the UK's future relationship with the union lasting up to two years. And any final settlement will have to be agreed by Brussels, by remaining EU member states and by the European Parliament.

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