Georgetown Law
Georgetown Law Library

European Union Research Guide

This guide provides information on the European Union and how to navigate among EU documents.


On June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom voted 51.9% to 48.1% to leave the E.U. Though there is anecdotal evidence that some Leave voters may have regretted their decisions afterward, the fact remains that the die is cast....we think. And for what it's worth, the English soccer team seems to be pro-Brexit. Upon announcing the results, Prime Minister David Cameron also announced his resignation, placing the process of exiting the E.U. on the shoulders of the incoming Prime Minister. Meanwhile, the E.U. has made it clear they would prefer for the process to begin immediately. Things have become testy between the E.U. parliament and Leave leaders, like Nigel Farage, noted Voldemort impersonator and fan of Nazi propaganda. The Leave party has already walked back on promises it made during the campaign and it has become clear that they do not have a plan for moving forward. Meanwhile, the opposing party does not seem to be faring any better as infighting has led to votes of no confidence for the Labour Party leader and resignations of many MPs. And finally, both Scotland and Northern Ireland face their own issues of discontent as both voted to remain in the E.U. and neither want to leave. Questions remain as to whether Scotland will seek a second referendum for independence and whether Northern Ireland will seek reunification with Ireland

It is too early to tell what trade agreements may look like, however, this chart (see the appendix, page 32) from a 2013 House of Commons Report on the impact of EU membership on the UK gives an idea of the alternative trade arrangements available. Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union has not been triggered yet - it looks like it will not be invoked until March 2017.

We will continue to update this guide, as well as our UK research guide, as more information becomes available but while this develops, the best places to look for information are news sources. Specific places to look include the BBC, the Guardian, New York Times, Financial Times, the EU's newsroom, the Wall Street Journal, and other trustworthy news sources of your own choosing. We offer online access to resources listed above but if you need further assistance, please feel free to seek the assistance of a librarian, either at a reference desk, via chat, or by setting up a reference consultation. We're here to help.


Voldemort, is that you? No, it's just Nigel Farage.

International & Foreign Reference

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International Reference Desk:
Wolff International & Comparative Law Library, Lower Level
(202) 662-4195

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