Following the referendum, what happens now? And what happens next? We answer the key questions people have been asking...
Are we still in the EU?
While people voted in the June 23, 2016 referendum to leave the EU, we remain full members of the European Union. The date of the UK's scheduled departure is now October 31, 2019, or the date upon which the UK ratifies a withdrawal agreement. Any withdrawal agreement also needs to be approved by the European Parliament.
Do I still have the rights that our EU membership entitles us to?
All the rights that come with EU membership remain until the UK leaves the EU, if it leaves the EU - whether people will continue to enjoy these rights outside the EU, if the UK leaves the EU, is unclear. There is a clear danger that everything from employment to consumer rights to access to the Single Market are at risk, and that is why we will be campaigning hard, and pressing the Tory government to ensure British citizens continue to have these rights if it takes us out of the EU.
Can I still travel and work throughout Europe?
While we are still in the EU, UK citizens retain their right to free movement and to work throughout the European Union, and the same applies to EU citizens in the UK. Again, whether this continues outside the EU, if we leave the EU, will depend on the government, and the nature of the UK's future relationship with the EU. Labour has campaigned for a commitment from the government to give peace of mind to those EU citizens living in Britain and to the millions of British citizens living in the EU.
When will we leave the EU?
The government triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal process of leaving the EU, on March 29, 2017, following the referendum of June 23, 2016. The British government and its EU partners had two years to reach a deal, however, given the failure to do so, the scheduled exit date has been extended to October 31, 2019. Labour MEPs will be pushing the Tory government and working with our centre-left colleagues in the European Parliament to ensure the any final deal is in the best interests of the British people.
What will happen to MEPs?
MEPs will continue in their roles until the UK leaves the EU, if it leaves. Until then, EU law will continue to apply, and aspects of it may continue to apply after we leave, depending on the deal the government gets. Labour MEPs will therefore continue to scrutinise legislation, and of course we will continue to represent our constituents’ interests, in Brussels and in the regions. Labour MEPs will fight to keep the rights working people have, and to limit the danger to jobs by seeking assurances on the benefits we currently enjoy as members of the Single Market.