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While Donald Trump has taken center stage within many news circles, the recent Brexit is actually just as important. The Brexit is simply the plan for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (BRitish EXIT). While more political than physical in nature, this movement will impact areas such as travel, trade, financial transactions and even the residency statuses of Britons living abroad.

Although the entire process will take approximately two years to complete, many are wondering how the Brexit will impact the global foreign exchange (Forex) markets. No one is entirely certain and yet, there are a few solid predictions which seem to be the most likely to occur in the near future. Let’s take a closer look.

The Questionable Value of the Pound

This is the most obvious concern, so it should be mentioned first. There are two major reasons why the pound is likely to be hurt from a medium-term perspective. First, investors are concerned about how the UK will renegotiate its current trade relationship with the European Union. This might very well hurt some domestic businesses and as a result, the value of the pound may fall.

The second issue is arguably more psychological in nature. Uncertainty always affects the markets and this situation is no different. The fact of the matter is that while the Brexit has been formally triggered, very few (if any) analysts are exactly sure of how negotiations will take place. This is entirely new territory and therefore, there is much more of a bearish stance.

Americans and their European counterparts are therefore somewhat concerned. Until concrete steps are laid out, it is likely that we will continue to see a weak pound. However, is the pound the only currency to watch?

The Dollar-Pound Relationship

Many Forex traders regularly monitor the USD/GBP relationship. In the past, the pound was normally stronger than the dollar. This was rather predictable and while small fluctuations did indeed occur, it was a worthwhile bet that the British currency would remain relatively stable. This has now all changed thanks to the Brexit (as well as the emerging economic policies of the Trump administration). Many currency traders are looking towards the dollar with a much more favorable attitude when compared to two or three years ago.

The major question is whether or not this American currency will represent a safe haven when compared to its counterparts across the Atlantic. Although the verdict is still out, the fact of the matter is that we will likely see a much stronger dollar in relation to the British pound.

The Euro Question

Forex investors are also keeping a close eye on the value of the euro when compared to the pound. Will a falling pound benefit UK exports and if so, could this harm the value of the euro? Or, might the geopolitical instability within the European Union cause a continued parity with the pound?

These are two very important questions which currency analysts are attempting to answer. Others question whether or not the Brexit will trigger similar moves in countries leaning to the far right such as France. Such a concern could negatively impact the value of the euro in the future.

 

The Markets as a Whole

Up until this point, we have examined potential currency changes and how these might evolve. However, what about the Forex markets as a whole? Can we make an broad predictions about how they will continue to react?

The first viable observation is that this sector will see an increased amount of volatility due to the amount of speculation taking place. Rumors can cause massive rises or falls within a very short period of time. As a result, it is likely that individual investors will embrace a much more conservative stance. On the other side of the proverbial coin, speculators could very well look to take advantage of any short-term swings. Either way, the Forex markets look to be in for a rough ride ahead.

 

Trading Strategies

We should also mention that investors will be looking to adopt more risk-averse trading strategies as opposed to standard open-market positions. One example of this can be seen in the rising popularity of spread betting. Spread betting is better than conventional trading due to the fact that investors can enjoy benefits such as a tax-free income, the ability to “short” a position and the potential to employ margins. The main takeaway point here is that many traders will be forced to rethink their traditional approaches in order to accommodate a rather unclear future.

Of course, the Brexit will not happen overnight and a significant amount of negotiations still need to take place. It is nonetheless an undeniable fact that this move will have a massive impact upon the world of financial trading for years to come.

 

Voting is under way in the UK at more than 40,000 polling stations across the country.

Polls opened at 07:00 BST on June 8, with counting starting once voting ends at 22:00 BST.

A total of 650 Westminster lawmakers will be elected, with about 46.9 million people registered to vote.

That is up from the last general election, in 2015, when there were 46.4 million registered voters.

Some votes have already been cast, through postal voting, which accounted for 16.4% of the total electorate at the 2015 general election. People with an undelivered postal vote can still deliver it by hand to their local polling station.

Two years ago, when the Conservatives won 331 out of 650 seats, overall turnout was 66.4%, up from 2010.

Most polling stations are in schools, community centers and parish halls, but pubs, a launderette and a school bus have been used in the past.

Police have increased security at polling stations, including patrols by armed officers in some areas, following the recent terror attacks.

A handful of seats are expected to be declared by midnight, with the final results expected on June 9.

Unusually, no local elections are taking place at the same time, so results might come through earlier than in recent general elections.

In 2015, the first seat to declare was Houghton and Sunderland South, at 22:48 BST.

To form a majority in the House of Commons one party must win 326 seats – in 2015 a Conservative majority was not confirmed until 13:34 BST.

Polls close at 22:00 BST, but officials say anyone in a polling station queue at this time should be able to cast their vote.

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UK’s parliament has overwhelmingly agreed to let the government begin the country’s exit from the EU as it voted for the Brexit bill.

The bill was approved by 494 votes to 122, and now moves to the House of Lords.

Shadow business secretary Clive Lewis was one of 52 Labour lawmakers to defy party orders to back the bill and he resigned from the front bench.

PM Theresa May wants to trigger formal Brexit talks by the end of March.

The prime minister will do this by invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, but requires Parliament’s permission before doing so.

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Clive Lewis, who earlier said he was undecided on whether to support the EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, announced his resignation as parliament began voting for the final time.

He said he “cannot, in all good conscience, vote for something I believe will ultimately harm the city I have the honor to represent, love and call home”.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn said he understood the difficulties the vote presented some of his members of parliament but said they had been ordered to back the Article 50 because the party would not “block Brexit”.

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott, who missed last week’s initial vote on the bill, backed it this time.

The Labour rebellion was five lawmakers up on last week’s vote, while former Chancellor Ken Clarke was again the only Conservative to vote against the two-clause bill.

During the voting, SNP lawmakers were reprimanded by deputy speaker Lindsay Hoyle after they started singing Ode to Joy, the EU anthem.

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Donald Trump has said German Chancellor Angela Merkel made “one very catastrophic mistake” by admitting more than 1 million refugees.

The president-elect said Angela Merkel was by far Europe’s most important leader, and that the EU had become a vehicle for Germany.

Donald Trump was giving details of his foreign policy goals in an interview with British and German newspapers, Times and Bild.

He told the publications his priority was to create fairer trade deals for the US and have strong borders.

Donald Trump said the United States had to address its trade deficit with the rest of the world, particularly with China.

The emphasis for his administration should be smart trade, rather than free trade, the president-elect said.

The interview was conducted for the Times by UK’s lawmaker Michael Gove, who played a key role in the Vote Leave campaign that led to Brexit, and who also has a column in the newspaper.

An image of Michael Gove and Donald Trump giving a thumbs-up at New York’s Trump Tower, where they met, was shared on Twitter.

Image source Flickr

Asked about a possible deal with Russia, Donald Trump said nuclear weapons should be part of it and “reduced very substantially”, in return for lifting US sanctions.

Turning to the Middle East, Donald Trump condemned the 2003 invasion of Iraq as possibly the worst decision ever made in the history of the country, and said safe zones should have been created within Syria and paid for by the United States’ Gulf allies.

In a separate interview with the Washington Post, Donald Trump said he was close to finalizing a replacement for President Barack Obama’s healthcare program, the Affordable Care Act.

Donald Trump gave few details, other than saying there would be healthcare for everybody and that costs would be lower.

The president-elect said he was waiting for his nominee for health secretary, Tom Price, to be confirmed, before unveiling the plan.

Donald Trump also spoke about the UK and Brexit, saying he thought the UK was “so smart in getting out” of the EU.

“Countries want their own identity and the UK wanted its own identity,” he said.

“I think you’re doing great, I think it’s going great.”

Donald Trump predicted that more countries would follow the same path.

“I think people want . . . their own identity, so if you ask me … I believe others will leave.”

During the interview, Donald Trump said he thought Angela Merkel was the “by far the most important European leader”.

“If you look at the European Union, it’s Germany – it’s basically a vehicle for Germany,” he said.

“I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals.”

Donald Trump linked the migrant issue with the UK referendum vote to leave the EU.

“I do believe this, if they [EU countries] hadn’t been forced to take in all of the refugees, so many, with all the problems that it . . . entails, I think that you wouldn’t have a Brexit.

“It probably could have worked out but this was the final straw, this was the final straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Donald Trump repeated his vow to be tough on immigration into the US.

“People don’t want to have other people coming in and destroying their country. In this country we are going to go very strong borders from the day I get in,” he said.

The president-elect also stressed that he would “start off trusting both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mrs. Merkel” on taking office, but would “see how long that lasts”.

Talking about international security, Donald Trump argued that he had said “a long time ago that NATO had problems”.

“One: that it was obsolete because it was designed many many years ago, and number two: that the countries weren’t paying what they’re supposed to pay.”

He said that only five countries were paying what they should into the NATO budget.

“Five. It’s not much… With that being said, NATO is very important to me.”

Donald Trump was also asked if he would continue to use Twitter after his inauguration, and said he would keep up his habit of publishing streams of messages on the social network.

“It’s working – and the tweeting, I thought I’d do less of it, but I’m covered so dishonestly by the press, so dishonestly,” he said.

“I can go bing bing bing . . . and they put it on and as soon as I tweet it out. This morning on television Fox: <<Donald Trump, we have breaking news>>.”

What is an immigrant? Is someone that should be despised for “coming over here and taking our jobs and benefits?” Or is it just a person that is trying to take up residence in another country by choice or circumstances out of their control? Opinion seems divided at the moment, with a concerning majority on the side of hostility.

That means that being an immigrant in the UK right now is a pretty difficult situation to be. Read on for some of the current issues that the immigrant population is facing.

Getting into the UK

Getting into the UK is often held up as the Shangrila of immigrant destinations. It is argued that because we offer benefits and free health care, a large proportion of immigrants head for the UK as their first country of choice.

The concern by those that hold this view is that because we are only a small island, that we cannot take such a large influx of people. It is argued in a lot of British tabloid media that immigration is putting a strain on our benefits services, as well as the NHS.

However, it is worth remembering that there is a difference between immigration and asylum. Many people confuse the two. Asylum seekers or refugees are granted access to some benefits and health care. Usually, because they have had to leave their country of origin in haste and with few possessions.

It is also is worth remembering that being accepted as an asylum seeker is not the easy process everyone thinks it is. Refugees have to go through the process of showing how they were persecuted in their country of origin before they are granted status.

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Immigration is different in that the subjects don’t have to be under any persecution to apply for immigrant status. EU immigrants have a different status to non-EU ones at the moment.

Non-EU immigrants have to go through the rigorous process of immigration before they can enter the country legally. They need a Visa and may be refused if they do not have work and a residence already in place. It is also worth noting that immigrants are not immediately given access to social houses or benefits.

Some people raise concerns about illegal immigrants coming into the UK in secret or on study visas. They are concerned that they will stay when their documents do not cover this. If this is the case, then the UK government may choose to deport them when they are alerted to their presence.

Staying In The UK

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Some people may be granted immigration status, and be able to work and live in the UK for a period of time. But it is more complicated to stay here in the long term. Persons wishing to stay permanently will need to apply for ILR. Or Indefinite Leave to Remain. This is the legal standing that long-term immigrant can get. It allows them to stay in the country and claim benefits the same as other residents.

The process of gaining an ILR is not easy. Persons wishing to stay will need to be able to prove their status and show the reasons why they need to stay.

These can be things such as being married to a UK national or being in full-time employment here. Persons applying for this status will need to check things like their documents for ILR. They need to and make sure everything is in order before they make their application and have their interview.

It is possible for some immigrants to get some help with getting everything in order before they take the interview.  One problem that immigrants can come across when applying for their ILR is that it can be tough for non-English speaking applicants. The use of legal terms and requirements in a tongue that is not their first language can be confusing. That is why it is helpful to get as much assistance as possible when going through this process.

The Changing Political Situation

The effect of Brexit is something of a concern for those involved in immigration. That is because it is possible that UK will change the way it admits people from the EU into the country.

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While we were a member of the European Union, we had a free movement agreement where people from the EU could come and live and work in Britain without a Visa. The same applied to English immigrants living and working within the EU.

However one of the main debate issue during Brexit was the concern that UK jobs were being taken over by EU residents. People were especially worried that not enough were being left from UK citizens.

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The UK will not close its border to EU immigrants completely. But it does reserve the right to more strictly control who is granted entry to work in the UK. Also, Brexit also gives the UK government the power to stop massive influxes of EU residents seeking work in the UK at one time.

Finding Work In The UK

So EU citizens will, for the most part, be able to work in the UK. But what does that actually look like? It seems that the view is that many people are coming across to the UK and getting jobs that Uk people would need. But how easy is it to find a good job when you are an immigrant?

Well, firstly the general attitude towards those of non-Uk heritage has taken a hit since Brexit. It seems to be that at least people are less willing to embrace workers from outside of the UK.

It is also important to note that many of the EU immigrants that come over for work are working way below they professional level. There are plenty of university graduates that find themselves not in their chosen field but picking and packing in factories. This is because the money offered there is better that what they would get at home for the job they have actually trained for.

It isn’t an ideal situation to work so hard to gain qualifications only to be doing something that anyone with basic training can do. So it is unlikely that they will take to these roles in the long term. So while these jobs may pay well comparatively, they might not be right for a long term career move.

People’s Attitudes in The UK

Something that is very tough for immigrants in the UK at the moment is some of the British populations’ attitudes towards them. After Brexit, there was a spate of racially motivated attacks that was reported widely by the media.

Living in what is perceived to be a hostile situation and taking a risk to be allowed to earn a decent wage for hard work, seems pretty unacceptable. It can make the feeling of alienation and isolation that many immigrants experience all the more difficult.

The key problem with this is that if people feel under threat, they will retreat back into groups of their own culture. This prevents integration into British society. If this happens, it will only widen the ‘us and them’ mentality, which is not got for either side.

However, this is not how everyone in the UK feels about the immigration situations. There has been an outpouring of support across business and social media with the hashtag #refugeeswelcome. Which is a gesture of solidarity for the Syrian refugees resident in the Calais jungle trying to come into the UK?

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It also shows that not everyone is fearful of people that are refugees and immigrants. It is important to remember that there are still plenty of Britons that are happy to embrace those from other cultures with open arms. Those that encourage hate and fear are not the only ones with a voice.

UK’s PM Theresa May has started forming her new government – as she begins her first full day in Downing Street.

Former London mayor and leading Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson said he was “humbled” having been named new foreign secretary, in one of Theresa May’s first cabinet appointments.

Philip Hammond became chancellor, Amber Rudd is home secretary, and Eurosceptic David Davis is new Brexit secretary.

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Photo Facebook

Theresa May later told European leaders she was committed to the UK leaving the EU.

Asked about his first priorities as chancellor, Philip Hammond said there would be “no emergency Budget”.

Philip Hammond said he would work closely with the Bank of England and other economic experts and make “carefully considered decisions over the summer”, followed by an Autumn Statement “in the normal way”.

Before the EU referendum, Philip Hammond’s predecessor George Osborne said he would have to cut public spending and increase taxes in an emergency Budget if the UK voted for Brexit.

In a series of congratulatory phone calls taken by Theresa May on July 13, the UK’s second female prime minister spoke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, France’s President Francois Hollande and Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

A Downing Street spokesman said Theresa May had “emphasized her commitment to delivering the will of the British people to leave the European Union”.

“The prime minister explained that we would need some time to prepare for these negotiations and spoke of her hope that these could be conducted in a constructive and positive spirit,” the spokesman added.

Theresa May will continue to fill out her new cabinet on July 14, with the new secretaries of state for health, education, and work and pensions among those expected to be appointed.

The European Union has explained the way Britain can kick start formal negotiations to exit the union following June 23 referendum.

The EU says Britain can trigger Article 50, which sets a two-year deadline for a deal, by making a formal declaration either in a letter or a speech.

British PM David Cameron has said he will step down by October to allow his successor to conduct the talks.

However, EU foreign ministers have urged Britain to start the process soon.

Since June 23 referendum there has been intense speculation about when, and how, the UK might begin formal negotiations.

A spokesman for the European Council, which defines the EU’s political direction and priorities, reiterated on Saturday that triggering Article 50 was a formal act which must be “done by the British government to the European Council”.

“It has to be done in an unequivocal manner with the explicit intent to trigger Article 50,” he said.

Photo Getty Image

Photo Getty Image

“It could either be a letter to the president of the European Council or an official statement at a meeting of the European Council duly noted in the official records of the meeting.”

On June 25, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU had “no need to be particularly nasty in any way” in the negotiations with Britain.

Angela Merkel said that deterring other countries from leaving the EU should not be a priority in the talks.

She added that she was not in favor of pushing for a speedy withdrawal.

“It shouldn’t take forever, that’s right, but I would not fight for a short timeframe,” Angela Merkel said.

She was speaking after several EU foreign ministers, including Germany’s, had urged Britain to quickly implement its exit.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: “This process should get under way as soon as possible so that we are not left in limbo but rather can concentrate on the future of Europe.”

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said the continent could not accept a political vacuum, saying “this will not be business as usual”.

The first summit of EU leaders with no British representation will be held on June 29, a day after David Cameron holds talks with members.

Global stock markets and the pound fell heavily on the news of Brexit, while credit rating agency Moody’s cut the UK’s outlook to “negative”.

Brexit steps:

  1. UK votes Leave.
  2. Within 2 years from referendum the UK notifies the EU invoking Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, then the remaining 27 EU states meet to discuss withdrawal.
  3. Negotiations will begin between the UK and the EU ending with a draft deal put to the European Council. At the end of two years negotiations can be extended further but only if all 27 countries agree. The draft deal needs approval from at least 20 countries with 65% population. Then the deal should be ratified by the European Parliament.
  4. If no agreement to extended negotiations then the EU treaties cease to apply to the UK
  5. The UK leaves the European Union. UK parliament must repeal the 1972 European Communities Act and replace with new agreement.
  6. If the UK wants back in, it has to apply like any other country.

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Donald Trump has said it is a “great thing” that Britons have “taken back their country” in voting to leave the EU.

The presumptive Republican nominee’s comments came as he arrived at Trump Turnberry in Scotland for the reopening of the refurbished Open venue golf resort.

Donald Trump added his name to the Ayrshire hotel and golf course after buying the resort for an undisclosed fee in 2014.

Comedian Simon Brodkin later disrupted Donald Trump’s news conference by waving golf balls with a swastika on them.

Donald Trump was also the subject of a small protest by those who accuse him of “racism and bigotry” during his bid for the presidency.

Dozens of people, with placards stating “No To Racism”, gathered outside the resort before Donald Trump arrived.Donald Trump hails Brexit referendum result

He was asked about the EU referendum result, which saw Leave beat Remain by 52% to 48%, shortly after he touched down at Turnberry in a helicopter.

Donald Trump said: “I think it’s a great thing that’s happened. It’s an amazing vote, very historic.

“People are angry all over the world. They’re angry over borders, they’re angry over people coming into the country and taking over and nobody even knows who they are.

“They’re angry about many, many things in the UK, the US and many other places. This will not be the last.”

Donald Trump said UK divisions “will heal” as “it is a great place”, adding: “I said this was going to happen and I think it is a great thing.

“Basically, they took back their country. That’s a great thing.

“I think we’re doing very well in the United States also, and it is essentially the same thing that is happening in the United States.

“I want to support my son who really represented me here in building this great great place (Turnberry).”

When asked his opinion on UK’s PM David Cameron announcing he is to step down as prime minister after the Leave vote, Donald Trump said: “Well, that’s too bad.”

Speaking later at a news conference, Donald Trump acknowledged his family connection with Scotland through his mother Mary MacLeod, who was born in Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides.

“She loved Scotland, she would be here a lot,” he said.

“She would come every year with my sister Mary and my sister Elizabeth and they just loved it. Her loyalty to Scotland was incredible.”

Donald Trump said his mother would often visit Turnberry for dinner with friends but she never played golf.

He said it was “an honor” to have taken ownership of the resort, which he acquired from Dubai-based Leisurecorp two years ago, before adding his name to the brand.

Donald Trump owns more than a dozen golf resorts in the US and opened his first in the UK, at the Menie estate in Aberdeenshire, in 2012 after controversy surrounding planning, environmental issues and clashes with local people who refused to move.

Turnberry is one of 10 UK golf courses to host the Open golf championship on a rotational basis.

The tournament has been played there on four occasions, most recently in 2009.

The Open is expected to be played in England in 2020 and at St Andrews in 2021, meaning the earliest it could return to Turnberry would be 2022.

Donald Trump’s news conference was interrupted comedian Simon Brodkin, also known as Lee Nelson, who attempted to hand out golf balls with a swastika on them. He was escorted away by security officials.

UK’s PM David Cameron has announced he will step down by October after Britain voted to leave the EU.

In a statement outside Downing Street, David Cameron said he would attempt to “steady the ship” over the coming weeks and months but that “fresh leadership” was needed.

He had urged Britain to vote Remain but was defeated by 52% to 48% despite London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backing staying in.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage hailed it as the UK’s “independence day”.

The pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 as the markets reacted to the results.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

Flanked by wife Samantha, PM David Cameron said he had informed Queen Elizabeth II of his decision to remain in place for the short term and to then hand over to a new prime minister by the time of the Conservative conference in October.

It would be for the new prime minister to carry out negotiations with the EU and invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would give the UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal, David Cameron said.

“The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected,” he said.

“The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered.”

The Brexit referendum turnout was 71.8% – with more than 30 million people voting – the highest turnout at a UK-wide vote since 1992.

Britain is set to be the first country to leave the EU since its formation – but the Leave vote does not immediately mean Britain ceases to be a member of the 28-nation bloc.

That process could take a minimum of two years, with Leave campaigners suggesting during the referendum campaign that it should not be completed until 2020 – the date of the next scheduled general election.

Once Article 50 has been triggered a country cannot rejoin without the consent of all member states.

The UK’s government will also have to negotiate its future trading relationship with the EU and fix trade deals with non-EU countries.

The UK voted to leave the European Union with 52% to 48% despite London, Scotland and Northern Ireland backing staying in.

The Brexit referendum turnout was 71.8% – with more than 30 million people voting – the highest turnout at a UK-wide vote since 1992.

Nigel Farage – who has campaigned for the past 20 years for Britain to leave the EU – told cheering supporters “this will be a victory for ordinary people, for decent people”.

Germany’s foreign minister Frank Walter Steinmeier described the referendum result as “a sad day for Europe and Great Britain”.

Leave supporting Tory MP Liam Fox said voters had shown great “courage” by deciding to “change the course of history” for the UK and, he hoped, the rest of Europe.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that the EU vote “makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union” after all 32 local authority areas returned majorities for Remain.Brexit wins in UK referendum

Britain is set to be the first country to leave the EU since its formation – but the Leave vote does not immediately mean Britain ceases to be a member of the 28-nation bloc.

That process could take a minimum of two years, with Leave campaigners suggesting during the referendum campaign that it should not be completed until 2020 – the date of the next scheduled general election.

Once Article 50 has been triggered a country cannot rejoin without the consent of all member states.

UK’s PM David Cameron previously said he would trigger Article 50 as soon as possible after a Leave vote but Boris Johnson and Michael Gove who led the campaign to get Britain out of the EU have said he should not rush into it.

They also said they want to make immediate changes before the UK actually leaves the EU, such as curbing the power of EU judges and limiting the free movement of workers, potentially in breach the UK’s treaty obligations.

The UK’s government will also have to negotiate its future trading relationship with the EU and fix trade deals with non-EU countries.

In Whitehall and Westminster, there will now begin the massive task of unstitching the UK from more than 40 years of EU law, deciding which directives and regulations to keep, amend or ditch.

The Leave campaign argued during a bitter four-month referendum campaign that the only way Britain could “take back control” of its own affairs would be to leave the EU.

Leave dismissed warnings from economists and international bodies about the economic impact of Brexit as “scaremongering” by a self-serving elite.

Polls have opened in the UK for a historic referendum on whether the country should remain a member of the European Union or leave.

An estimated 46,499,537 people are entitled to take part in the vote.

Polling stations opened at 07:00 BST and will close at 22:00 BST.Brexit referendum 2016

It is only the third nationwide referendum in UK history and comes after a four-month battle for votes between the Leave and Remain campaigns.

The referendum ballot paper asks the following question: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

Whichever side gets more than half of all votes cast is considered to have won.

After the referendum polls close, sealed ballot boxes will be collected and transported to the count venue for each of the 382 local counting areas.

These represent all 380 local government areas in England, Scotland and Wales, plus one each for Northern Ireland and Gibraltar.

Individual areas’ results will then be declared throughout the night, along with results from 11 regional counts.

Depending on how close the poll is, the result may become clear before the final national result is officially declared by the Chief Counting Officer, who will be based at Manchester Town Hall.

The Electoral Commission estimates a final result “around breakfast time” on June 24.

In a recent interview, Donald Trump has said the UK would be “better off without” the European Union.

The Republican presidential hopeful told Fox News the migration crisis had been a “horrible thing for Europe” and blamed the EU for driving it.

Donald Trump said he was not making a “recommendation” but his “feeling” was that the UK should vote to sever ties with the EU in its June 23 referendum.

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Photo Getty Images

When he visited the UK last month, Democratic President Barack Obama expressed support for the UK remaining in the EU.

Donald Trump, who has emerged as the Republican presumptive nominee for the US presidency, told Fox News: “I think the migration has been a horrible thing for Europe, a lot of that was pushed by the EU.

“I would say [the UK] are better off without [the EU], personally, but I’m not making that as a recommendation, just my feeling.

“I know Great Britain very well, I know the country very well, I have a lot of investments there.”

However, Donald Trump added: “I want them to make their own decision.”

Last month, President Barack Obama said Britain would go to the “back of the queue” for trade deals with the US if it votes to leave the European Union, sparking anger among Leave campaigners in the UK.

Barack Obama said Britain was at its best when “helping to lead” a strong EU and membership made it a “bigger player” on the world stage.