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"Article 50" redirects here. For the former Eurosceptic political party in the Netherlands, see "Article 50 (political party).
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Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union is a part of "European Union law that sets out the process by which member states may "withdraw from the European Union. Its use became extensively debated after the "referendum held in the United Kingdom on 23 June 2016 in which a majority of those voting favoured the "United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. The UK will trigger Article 50 on 29 March 2017.[1]

Once Article 50 is triggered, there is a two-year time limit to complete negotiations. If negotiations fail to reach agreement, the member state leaves with nothing. This process is generally accepted to leave a seceding member with "less bargaining power in negotiations, because the costs of having no trade treaty would be proportionally far greater to the seceding individual state than the remaining EU bloc.[2]

Contents

Provisions[edit]

Article 49A of the "Treaty of Lisbon, which came into force on 1 December 2009, introduced for the first time a procedure for a member state to withdraw voluntarily from the EU.[3] This is specified in Article 50 of the "Treaty on European Union, which states that:[4]

  1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
  2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the "European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the "European Parliament.
  3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.
  4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.
    A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
  5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

This is the full text of article 50.

In evidence to the "House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union, "Sir David Edward, a legal expert, stated that, in his opinion, the German version[5] differed from the English and French versions and envisaged that the structure of future relations would already have been established at the point when withdrawal took place; he supported this interpretation by his own translation of the German text.[6]

Process[edit]

Member state invocation[edit]

Article 50 of the "Treaty on European Union provides that: "Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements."[7] Once a member state has notified the "European Council of its intent to leave the EU, a period begins during which a leaving agreement is negotiated setting out the arrangements for the withdrawal and outlining the country's future relationship with the Union. A withdrawal agreement would then be negotiated between the Union and that State.

Coverage in "The Guardian explained that Article 50 could be invoked only by EU member countries although negotiations did not need to be entered into until invocation.[8]

Remaining members of the EU consequently would need to undertake negotiations to manage change over the "EU's budgets, voting allocations and policies brought about by the withdrawal of any member state.[9]

This provision does not cover certain overseas territories which under TFEU Article 355 do not require a full treaty revision.[10]

Post invocation process[edit]

The treaties cease to apply to the member state concerned on the entry into force of the leaving agreement, or in the absence of such an agreement, two years after the member state notified the European Council of its intent to leave, although this period can be extended by unanimous agreement of the European Council.[11] The two-year period of time in which the terms of the withdrawal agreement are negotiated is known as the sunset period.[12]

The agreement is concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council and must set out the arrangements for withdrawal, including a framework for the State's future relationship with the Union. The agreement is to be approved by the Council, acting by "qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the "European Parliament. For the agreement to pass the "Council of the European Union it needs to be approved by at least 72 percent of the continuing member states representing at least 65 percent of their population.[7]

This system gives a negotiated withdrawal, due to the complexities of leaving the EU (particularly concerning the "euro). However it does include in it a strong implication of a unilateral right to withdraw. This is through the fact the state would decide "in accordance with its own constitutional requirements" and that the end of the treaties' application in said state is not dependent on any agreement being reached (it would occur after two years regardless).[3]

The remaining members of the EU would also need to undertake negotiations on how to make the necessary changes to the EU's budgets, voting allocations and policies.[9]

Re-entry[edit]

Should a former Member State seek to rejoin the European Union, it would be subject to the same conditions as any other applicant country.[13]

Pre-Lisbon situation[edit]

Before the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force on 1 December 2009 no provision in the "treaties or "law of the EU outlined the ability of a state to voluntarily withdraw from the EU. The "European Constitution did propose such a provision and, after the failure to ratify it, that provision was then included as Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

The absence of such a provision made withdrawal technically difficult but not impossible.[3] Legally there were two interpretations of whether a state could leave. The first, that sovereign states have a right to withdraw from their international commitments;[14] and the second, the treaties are for an unlimited period, with no provision for withdrawal and calling for an "ever closer union" – such commitment to unification is incompatible with a unilateral withdrawal. The "Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties states where a party wants to withdraw unilaterally from a treaty that is silent on secession, there are only two cases where withdrawal is allowed: where all parties recognise an informal right to do so and where the situation has changed so drastically, that the obligations of a signatory have been radically transformed.[3]

There is no precedent for a sovereign member state leaving the European Union or any of its predecessor organisations. However, three territories of EU member states have withdrawn: "Algeria (1962, independence from France),[15] "Greenland (1985)[16] and "Saint Barthélemy (2012),[17] the latter two becoming "Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union.

Invocation by the United Kingdom[edit]

United Kingdom invocation of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union

After a "referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union in June 2016 supported exiting the European Union, the Prime Minister Theresa May announced in October that Britain was going to invoke Article 50 by the end of March 2017.[18] A quick invocation is widely seen as the preferred route for European institutions[19] and member governments.[20] On 26 January 2017, in a "court case, the UK Supreme Court decided that an act of "Parliament was required before this could be done.[21][22] This resulted in the passing of the "European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 which received "Royal Assent on 16 March 2017.

Until the "withdrawal from the European Union is effected in accordance with Article 50, the UK remains as a member of the EU continuing to fulfill all EU-related treaties and must legally be treated as a member[23][24] and there is no official negotiation between the UK and the other states until Article 50 is invoked,[25] although there have been unofficial contacts and negotiating positions have been publicly laid out by parties such as the "European Council (of heads of national governments).[26]

Origins[edit]

The clause was drafted by Scottish "cross-bench "peer and former diplomat "Lord Kerr of Kinlochard.[27]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Article 50: Theresa May to trigger Brexit process next week". "BBC News. 20 March 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  2. ^ cf S Lechner and R Ohr, 'The right of withdrawal in the treaty of Lisbon: a game theoretic reflection on different decision processes in the EU' (2011) 32 European Journal of Law and Economics 357]
  3. ^ a b c d Athanassiou, Phoebus (December 2009). "Withdrawal and Expulsion from the EU and EMU: Some Reflections" (PDF). Legal Working Paper Series. European Central Bank (10): 9. "ISSN 1830-2696. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Consolidated Version of the Treaty on European Union" (PDF). "HM Government. 
  5. ^ "Consolidated versions of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union 2016/C 202/01". Document 02016L/TXT-20151225. Retrieved 1 March 2017. 
  6. ^ Evidence to House of Lords Select Committee of legal expert "Sir David Edward, March 2016.[1]
  7. ^ a b Renwick, Alan (19 January 2016). "What happens if we vote for Brexit?". The Constitution Unit Blog. Retrieved 14 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "...there seems to be no immediate legal means out of the stalemate. It is entirely up to the departing member state to trigger article 50, by issuing formal notification of intention to leave: no one, in Brussels, Berlin or Paris, can force it to. But equally, there is nothing in article 50 that obliges the EU to start talks – including the informal talks the Brexit leaders want – before formal notification has been made. "There is no mechanism to compel a state to withdraw from the European Union," said Kenneth Armstrong, professor of European law at Cambridge University. ... "The notification of article 50 is a formal act and has to be done by the British government to the European council," an EU official told Reuters."Henley, John (26 June 2016). "Will article 50 ever be triggered?". The Guardian. London, UK. Retrieved 26 June 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Oliver, Tim. "Europe without Britain: Assessing the Impact on the European Union of a British Withdrawal". Stiftung Wissenshaft und Politik. Retrieved 1 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Instead, the European Council may, on the initiative of the member state concerned, change the status of an "overseas country or territory (OCT) to an "outermost region (OMR) or vice versa.
  11. ^ Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union.
  12. ^ Alderton, John; Kavanagh, Helen (24 June 2016). "EU Referendum Results: It's Going To Be Brexit". The National Law Review. Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  13. ^ Article 50(4) of Lisbon Treaty which cites Article 49 Accession process
  14. ^ Hurd, Ian (2013). International Organizations: Politics, Law, Practice. Cambridge University Press. p. 10. "ISBN "9781107040977. 
  15. ^ Ziller, Jacques. "The European Union and the Territorial Scope of European Territories" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "What is Greenland's relationship with the EU?". Folketing. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  17. ^ Hay, Iain (2013). "Geographies of the superrich". Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 196. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  18. ^ "Brexit: Theresa May to trigger Article 50 by end of March". BBC News. 2 October 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  19. ^ Stone, Jon (28 June 2016). "Nigel Farage Mocked and Heckled by MEPs During Extraordinary Speech". Independent. London, UK. Retrieved 28 June 2016. 
  20. ^ "Brexit: Breaking Up Amicably Is Hard to Do". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  21. ^ "The Government is taking the Article 50 ruling to the Supreme Court". 3 November 2016. 
  22. ^ Brexit: Supreme Court says Parliament must give Article 50 go-ahead
  23. ^ "George Osborne: Only the UK can trigger Article 50". Al Jazeera. 
  24. ^ Henley, Jon (26 June 2016). "Will article 50 ever be triggered?". The Guardian. 
  25. ^ "No notification, no negotiation: EU officials banned from Brexit talks with Britain". 30 June 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2016. 
  26. ^ Heffer, Greg (29 June 2016). "'It's not single market a la carte' Donald Tusk tells UK it's FREE MOVEMENT or nothing". Daily Express. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  27. ^ Article 50 author Lord Kerr says Brexit not inevitable "BBC News, 3 November 2016

External links[edit]

"" Works related to Text of Article 50 at Wikisource

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