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What does leaving the EU mean?

There are several overlapping trans-European agreements that European countries can participate in: the EU, the EEA, the Customs Union, the Single Market, the Euro, Schengen, NATO, and so on. It is theoretically possible to be a member of almost combination of them (see image at bottom of page).

The situation is sufficiently complex, and the UK so large, that any change would take a long time and disrupt existing arrangements, like a heavy passenger jumping between two small moving boats. Realistically, UK withdrawal would be a multi-stage process that changes the set of feasible options for European co-operation.

The are other measures which could be adopted parallel to withdrawal from the EU.



Venn diagram of European integration


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