Virginia, US

What seems like another lifetime ago now, but really just about 10 days ago, the United Kingdom woke up to news that shocked almost everyone who lived here, regardless of the side they supported.  In my view, it shocked the world to be sure, but the level of shock felt by people living in Britain created a kind of fog over the country that has yet to lift. The day after the vote, there was a very odd atmosphere. Around me, people were quiet until there was a burst of surprise or anger and chatter… then quiet again. Since that day, it has been difficult for me to focus on almost any other topic related to immigration aside from Brexit. Indeed, I wanted to think of a different topic to blog on but I myself am still clouded by the fog that is the post-Brexit world. 

In my position, I have been asked a number of questions by people around the world in the last week. It is a topic of conversation we can’t escape. 

  • What will happen next? We don’t know. 
  • Will the UK really leave the EU? Will they find a way to stop it? We don’t know. 
  • How will immigration be controlled once the UK leaves the EU? We don’t know
  • Will there be free movement? We don’t know
  • How are people feeling? We don’t know. The country is split on regional lines and generational lines.There are splits within families, within towns. It is tense and emotional. 
We don’t know is the honest answer to all these questions and indeed almost any question about this topic. It is a heavy fog and no one can see the future. There are analysts and experts, including here at Fragomen, writing articles, blogging, trying to outline the different possibilities and alternatives. It is a useful exercise to help calm fears of the unknown. But so much depends on so many different variables. Who will the next Prime Minster be?  Will they be able to hold onto a majority in government? When, if ever, will Article 50 be triggered? What will Scotland do? Will there be legal challenges? What will happen to the economy in the short-term?  In the long-term? Over the coming weeks and months, the answers will slowly come together and the fog will lift ever so slowly with many of my colleagues in our UK practice filling in those answers on the immigration angle. Until then, we will all try to “keep calm and carry on” in the Great British way.