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On the 24th of June, we will still be in the EU no matter what the result of the referendum is. It is not as simple as throwing a switch. Chaos to a greater or lesser extent will ensue for some years.

Euro flagsIn order to leave the EU a member country has to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union, which starts a two-year process.

Would the government invoke this article immediately?

Probably not, because initially there would be a lot of internal debate within both the Conservative and Labour parties as to who should be the leader. Cameroon says he will not resign. There’s already speculation that, in the event of a leave vote, the PM would, John Major-like, seek an immediate vote of confidence from his troops and dare a rival to break cover.

His pitch would be the need for continuity to get the UK through a difficult patch, a message which would be much more powerful if there was some external crisis under way, at the time, like collapsing interest rates or a threat of vast numbers of migrants crossing the channel.

When would the government trigger the process by invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union, which starts a two-year process for leaving?

The argument for doing so immediately is that it dispels any hint of prevarication; the argument against is that two years is quite a short time for a long and complex negotiation, so it might be better to open discussion, while the government’s finger hovers over the start button, and eke out a year or more before formally starting the process. This would give us at least 3 years before we actually left. However the 2 year period from the start of article 50 can be increased if both sides want it. With a one year extension that would take us to June 2020.

The PM would probably have to appoint a new minister, Minister for negotiating the exit, this would most likely have to be someone from the present exit camp, like Michael Gove and this person would be a very important member of the government. Also with the approach of the next election and Cameroons declared intention to resign before the end of this parliament. Then this person might very well take over as PM.

The next General election will be May 2020, will the negotiations be complete before then?

Some of this blog leans heavily on an article by Mark D’Arcy from the BBCmust decide by 14 April.

When and how will the results be announced?

Counts will get under way when polls close at 22:00 GMT Thursday, 23 June at 382 local centres around the UK. These local results will be declared as the counts are completed before being collated at 12 regional centres, which will also declare the totals for each side. A chief counting officer will then announce the overall result at Manchester Town Hall.

Cant wait!!! I will be in Mozambique at the time.