Arlington, VA June 25, 2016
First, under the European Union Framework, the UK has a complex set of procedures to follow to actually remove itself from the Union. That will take time; probably much more than the two years or so that the opponents argues during the campaign.
First, of course, the UK Parliament has to confirm that exit strategy with legislation. That may not be as easy as it seems. Both the electorates in Northern Ireland and Scotland opposed leaving the Union, and for very substantial reasons. Their representatives in parliament will undoubtedly oppose any legislation, unless it provides an escape hatch to allow those political entities to continue to deal with the Union. That may be unlikely, and could cause both local parliaments to vote for separation, causing the UK to dissolve.
Second, the path to actual separation may not be what the UK (or whatever is left) really wants, or is capable of negotiating. The possibility that the UK will withdraw from some of the International bodies, such as the International Court, The European Court for Human Rights, and others, is complex in itself. If they do withdraw, they still leave themselves possible subject to adverse rulings they will not be able to adequately defend. More likely, UK will simply decide not to renegotiate those issues, and stay within some part of the EU system.
Then there are the trade and economic issues. These are even more complex, despite the fact that UK never adopted the Euro, but did adopt the European Free Trade System, which it may now not be able to retain, at least in its present form. Renegotiation in this area will take years to accomplish.
It is still too early to see what other impacts might occur, diplomatically, economically, and socially, but there will be many fiery flareups over the next several years, and the UK Government has to be prepared to face them. One of the unfortunate parts of democracy is that Governments change on the whim of the people. By the time the incoming UK government enters the fray, it may not have enough time to actually separate the country from its commitments, and another, less strident government team may arrive on the scene with differing views. We can only hope that this does not become a festering problem that brings down the pound completely.
Again, only time will tell what actually results from this vote. People need to be patient, and think carefully what they expect their future to be, and then work toward it.