Lawyers assure upset Bremainers that Vote Leave victory is NOT legally binding

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By Katie King on

That doesn’t mean they’re happy about the result


If you’re feeling upset about the referendum results, let lawyers assure you a UK exit from the European Union might not even happen.

It’s shaping up to be a pretty shocking Friday morning. Despite the bookies predicting otherwise, months of vehement campaigning have today culminated in the UK voting by 52% to 48% to leave the EU.

The news has come as quite a surprise to the country, but especially so to the comfortably pro-Bremain profession. Matrix Chambers barrister Matthew Ryder and Howard Kennedy media law partner Mark Stephens both seemed in shock.

Others, including top legal blogger Carl Gardner, family law QC Philip Marshall and human rights barrister Adam Wagner, seemed shaken by the news.

Though the results were announced just hours ago, in true lawyer style chatter has now turned to the legal implications of the out vote, largely courtesy of expert UK legal affairs commentator David Allen Green.

Green was quick to point out that referendums are not actually binding, and in that sense have “no legal impact”.

A Brexit from the EU will only be triggered as and when the UK submits its Article 50 notice, the first step being notifying the European Council of its intention to leave.

Until that happens, the UK’s position in the EU remains unaffected by today’s shock announcement.

Commentators are already joking that the UK will probably stall on doing this, or may never do it at all.

But political forces will surely force the nation’s hand…