Post-Brexit Scenarios for UK Competition Policy and Public Enforcement: The EEA Model v Complete Independence

January 12, 2017

On 23 June 2016, the British people voted by majority to leave the European Union (EU) in an “advisory” referendum. The referendum result was a seismic shock, unexpected by financial markets and not predicted by final pre-referendum polls. With a new British Prime Minister now at the helm, the process of coming to terms with the referendum result and planning for the significant practical challenge of achieving Brexit is now underway in both the UK and Brussels.

For the time being, the UK is still a member of the EU, with all the rights and responsibilities that membership entails. As noted by the remaining 27 heads of state and government in the statement following their informal meeting of 29 June 2016, “until the UK leaves the EU, EU law continues to apply to and within the UK”. Formal exit negotiations between the UK and the EU (to be conducted by the European Commission (Commission) on the basis of a mandate from the European Council) will only commence once the UK has delivered its so-called “article 50 notice”.

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This article first appeared in International Trade Law and Regulation Issue 4, 2016.