The UK has to negotiate two exit agreements: a divorce treaty to wind down British contributions to the EU budget and settle the status of the 1.2 million Britons living in the EU and 3 million EU citizens in the UK; and an agreement to govern future trade and other ties with its European neighbours.
Tusk has estimated that both agreements could take seven years to settle “without any guarantee of success”. Most Brussels insiders think this sounds optimistic.At the same time. the UK and Scottish governments need to decide what to do about the vast body of domestic legislation giving effect to EU policies in such areas as the environment, consumer protection, financial regulation, agriculture and fisheries, and so on. This is likely to be the centrepiece of parliamentary business for years to come. And none of it will be easy.