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Theresa May triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty

29/03/2017

Cover of the newspaper Metro. Photograph by Habib Ayoade

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On March 29th, 2017, the British Prime Minister triggered Article 50 — the article of withdrawal — of the Treaty on the European Union. The Article sets a two-year window for negotiations to take place; if an agreement isn't reached by the end of the deadline, Britain leaves the EU without a deal.

Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon

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 If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

Article 50 TEU: Withdrawal of a Member State from the EU. Briefing by the European Parliament.
What is article 50? | Brexit and the EU referendum explained
Article 50 triggered: "The start of a long goodbye"

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Published in 29/01/2020

Updated in 19/02/2021

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