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Today marks a truly momentous day in Britain’s history. The public vote in favour of leaving the EU has come as a fair shock to many people and has already sent some unwelcome ripples of fear and trepidation through our financial markets.
The nation is now waiting with baited breath to see what the Government will do next. The new Prime Minister may be forced to invoke article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty when Mr Cameron steps down later this year; although nothing is guaranteed at this very precarious moment in time. This treaty sets out the rules and implications of leaving the EU and will form the basis of subsequent talks to determine access to the single market. The result of this is more than likely to be an extended period of uncertainty and confusion for the markets while the Government decides on next steps.
Although the Chancellor has already stated his intention to declare an ‘emergency Budget’ in anticipation of a sharp fall in the value of Sterling, in these early days it is otherwise difficult to predict the finer details of our new status..
One possible outcome might be a Government attempt to renegotiate the terms of remaining within the EU based on the concerns of those supporting the leave campaign, which would provoke a prolonged period of intense debate. However, whilst very little is known at this stage, one thing we do know for sure is that the months ahead will be earmarked for a period of intense discussions and re-negotiation of various trade deals, as well as the right of movement for EU nationals.
As Britain is such a large financial hub, the strong trading relationships with Europe should hopefully be re-negotiated and continue as usual, meaning the UK will continue to appeal to investors on a global scale.
However, there is clearly still room for negotiation even though the public vote has opted in favour of a Brexit. As such, it is likely that we will see a continued period of uncertainty over the next few months while the terms and conditions are finalised. Only when these discussions reach their ultimate conclusion will we be afforded greater clarity on the issues which will have the most immediate effect on the housing market and indeed, our daily lives.