There are many huge implications; financial, political but I woke up thinking about the practical.
There are huge number of cross-border processes that need to be reengineered – or even reinvented. Remember that it was 1973 when the UK joined the EU, so no-one except Iceland who left in 1992 understands what it is like to leave. And these processes that need to be reengineered are not just in the UK, but in the other 27 EU members. A couple of simple examples:
As UK citizen with a British passport I want to work in France. Do I need a visa. If so, how do I apply for it? And from whom? What if I am already living and working in France. Do I have to leave?
When someone from Germany arrives at Heathrow (or any airport or port) and gets to immigration, what happens? And if they don’t have the right papers, then what happens?
I have retired to Spain and own a house. What are the implications?
According to this article from The Economist, it could take as long as 2 years to fully work through the exit. But for these of involved in process reengineering exercises in Government, that does not seem nearly long enough. And most of that 2 years is going to be taken up with the political positioning and negotiation, leaving precious little time for the implementation of the changes.
This is a huge change management exercise, starting now. And we are already seeing the impact of the change curve in Sterling, and in overall confidence in UK. This change curve, of course, assumes that the UK will be better off outside the UK. Only time will tell.