On March 29th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) Therese May triggered article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) in order to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU). Just this Tuesday (April 18th) Prime Minister May called for a snap UK election on June 8th 2017 in order to give the people of the United Kingdom a say in whether or not May’s government is acting in the right way in the Brexit negotiations. Via this election Prime Minister May hopes to effectuate her (very) favorable polling numbers and consequently, enhance her Parliamentary support for her taken approach on Brexit.
This blog analyzes some possible implications of the withdrawal, according to the European Commission’s White Paper on the future of Europe in 2025.
In article 50 TEU sub 1 & 2 it is stated that any member state may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements and that a leaving member state formally needs to notify the European Council of its intention to withdraw. 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.
In her notification to President of the European Council Donald Tusk Prime Minister Theresa May explained that:
‘Earlier this month, the United Kingdom Parliament confirmed the result of the referendum by voting with clear and convincing majorities in both of its Houses for the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. The Bill was passed by Parliament on 13 March and it received Royal Assent from Her Majesty The Queen and became an Act of Parliament on 16 March. Today, therefore, I am writing to give effect to the democratic decision of the people of the United Kingdom. I hereby notify the European Council in accordance with Article 50 (2) of the Treaty on European Union of the United Kingdom's intention to withdraw from the European Union.’
Herewith, Prime Minister Theresa May officially triggered the withdrawal procedure which needs to be concluded no later than two years after the formal notification, id est March 2019 (and just before the elections for the European Parliament in May 2019). This in accordance with article 50 sub 3 TEU.
To prepare for a European Union without the United Kingdom President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker presented a White Paper in the beginning of March 2017 to outline five possible post-Brexit scenarios for the European Union in 2025. Later this year the European Council will use these scenarios to determine what the approach regarding the Brexit is going to be.
The five scenarios of the European Union in 2025 are called ‘carrying on,’ ‘nothing but the single market,’ ‘those who want more do more,’ ‘doing less more efficiently,’ and ‘doing much more together’. The starting point of all the scenarios is that the remaining 27 member states move forward together as a Union.
The European Union focuses on delivering its positive reform agenda. The 27 remaining member states continue to focus on jobs, growth and investment by strengthening the Single Market and by stepping up investment in digital, transport and energy infrastructure.
2.‘Nothing but the Single Market’
The European Union is gradually re-centered on the Single Market. The functioning of the Single Market becomes the main “raison d’être” of the 27 remaining member states. Further progress depends on the capacity to agree related policies and standards. This proves easier for the free movement of capital and of goods, which continues tariff-free, than it does in other areas.
3.‘Those who want more do more’
The European Union allows willing member states to do more together in specific areas. A group of Member States decides to cooperate much closer on defense matters, making use of the existing legal possibilities. This includes a strong common research and industrial base, joint procurement, more integrated capabilities and enhanced military readiness for joint missions abroad.
4.‘Doing less more efficiently’
The European Union focuses on delivering more and faster in selected policy areas, while doing less elsewhere. The 27 remaining member states step up their work in fields such as innovation, trade, security, migration, the management of borders and defense. They develop new rules and enforcement tools to deepen the Single Market in key new areas. The 27 remaining member states focus on excellence in R&D and invest in new EU-wide projects to support decarbonisation and digitization.
5.‘Doing much more together’
The European Union decides to do much more together across all policy areas. On the international scene, Europe speaks and acts as one in trade and is represented by one seat in most international fora. The European Parliament has the final say on international trade agreements. Defense and security are prioritized. In full complementarity with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a European Defense Union is created. Cooperation in security matters is routine. The 27 remaining member states continue to lead the global fight against climate change and strengthen their role as the world’s largest humanitarian and development aid donor.
On April 29th 2017, Brexit (and these five scenarios) will be discussed during a special meeting of the European Council.
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A selection of relevant publications from the Peace Palace Library collection
- Abdel Wahab, M.S., "Brexit's Chilling Effect on Choice of Law and Arbitration in the United Kingdom: Practical Reflections Between Aggravation and Alleviation", Journal of international arbitration, 33 (2016), pp. 463-481.
- Baker, D. & P.Schnapper, Britain and the crisis of the European Union, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
- Bar Council Brexit Working Group, The Brexit papers, [London], Bar Council Brexit Working Group, 2017.
- Basedow, J., "Brexit und das Privat- und Wirtschaftsrecht", Zeitschrift für europäisches Privatrecht, 24 (2016), No. 3, pp. 567-572.
- Beale, K., "The United Kingdom without the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union: Putting Down the Dog that Did not Bark", in Birkinshaw, P.J. and Biondi, A. (eds.), Britain Alone!: The Implications and Consequences of United Kingdom Exit from the EU, Alphen aan den Rijn, Wolters Kluwer, 2016, pp. 257-290.
- Besch, S. and Black, J., "Brexit: What Have We Learned So Far?", Survival, 58 (2016), No. 5, pp. 59-67.
- Birkinshaw, P.J. and A. Biondi, (eds.), Britain Alone!: The Implications and Consequences of United Kingdom Exit from the EU, Alphen aan den Rijn, Wolters Kluwer, 2016.
- Birkinshaw P. J. and M. Varney, "Britain Alone Constitutionally: Brexit and Restitutio in Integrum", in Birkinshaw, P.J. and Biondi, A. (eds.), Britain alone!: the implications and consequences of United Kingdom exit from the EU, Alphen aan den Rijn: Wolters Kluwer, 2016, pp 13-37.
- Birkinshaw, P., "Brexit Editorial Vol 23 Is 1, Feb/March 2017", European public law, 23 (2017), No. 1, pp. 1–11.
- Blumann, C., "" Brexit": coup de tonnerre dans un ciel chargé", La semaine juridique: juris-classeur périodique, 90 (2016), No. 41, pp. 1878-1884.
- Burgstaller, M. and Zarowna, A., "Possible Ramifications of the UK's EU Referendum on Intra- and Extra-EU Bits", Journal of international arbitration, 33 (2016), pp. 565-575.
- Carmona Nunez, J., C-C. Cirlig & G. Sgueo, UK withdrawal from the European Union: legal and procedural issues, [Brussels], European Parliamentary Research Service, 2017.
- Coll, A., "The EFTA Court's Role in Strengthening the Homogeneity Objective of the EEA Agreement: an Examination in Light of Brexit", International trade law & regulation, 22 (2016), No. 4, pp. 119-123.
- Craig, R., "Casting Aside Clanking Medieval Chains: Prerogative, Statute and Article 50 after the EU Referendum", The modern law review, 79 (2016), No. 6, pp. 1041-1063.
- Cuyvers, A., "Artikel 50 VEU en Brexit: de juridische contouren voor een politiek drama", Nederlands tijdschrift voor Europees recht, 22 (2016), No. 7, pp. 222-229.
- Davies, G., "Brexit and the Free Movement of Workers: a Plea for National Legal Assertiveness", European law review, 41 (2016), No. 6, pp. 900-924.
- Denman, D., "The EU's External Relations: a Question of Competence", in Birkinshaw, P.J. and Biondi, A. (eds.), Britain alone!: the implications and consequences of United Kingdom exit from the EU, Alphen aan den Rijn, Wolters Kluwer, 2016, pp. 159-164.
- Douglas-Scott, S., "Brexit, Article 50 and the Contested British Constitution", The modern law review, 79 (2016), No. 6, pp. 1019-1040.
- Duff, A., After Brexit: a new association agreement between Britain and Europe, London, Policy Network, 2016.
- Edwards, L., "Brexit: You Don't Know What You've Got till It's Gone", Script-ed: a journal of law and technology, 13 (2016), No. 2, pp. 112-117.
- Frattini, F., "Dopo la Brexit: quali implicazioni per Londra, l'Europa e l'Italia: il diritto di Londra di uscire e il dovere dell'UE di evitare la fuga generalizzata", La Comunità Internazionale: rivista trimestrale della Società Italiana per l'Organizzazione Internazionale, 71 (2016), No. 2, pp. 173-180.
- Freitag, R. and Korch, S., "Gedanken zum Brexit: mögliche Auswirkungen im Internationalen Insolvenzrecht", Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsrecht, 37 (2016), No. 39, pp. 1849-1856.
- French, D., "Brexit: A Constitutional, Diplomatic and Democratic Crisis. A View from the Trenches", Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal, 19 (2016), No. null, pp. 1-13.
- Gearty, C., On fantasy island: Britain, Europe and human rights, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016.
- Giannoulopoulos, D., "Fair Trial Rights in the UK Post Brexit: out with the Charter and EU Law, in with the ECHR?", New journal of European criminal law, 7 (2016), No. 4, pp. 387-396.
- Gordon, M., "Brexit: a challenge for the UK constitution, of the UK constitution?", European constitutional law review, 12 (2016), No. 3, pp. 409-444.
- Guild, E., BREXIT and its consequences for UK and EU citizenship or monstrous citizenship, Leiden, Brill Nijhoff, 2017.
- Hadjiyianni, I., "The UK and the World: Environmental Law", in Birkinshaw, P.J. and Biondi, A. (eds.), Britain alone!: the implications and consequences of United Kingdom exit from the EU, Alphen aan den Rijn, Wolters Kluwer, 2016, pp. 139-158.
- Hestermeyer, H., "How Brexit Will Happen: A Brief Primer on European Union Law and Constitutional Law Questions Raised by Brexit", Journal of international arbitration, 33 (2016), pp. 429-450.
- Hillion, C., "Le retrait de l'Union européenne: une analyse juridique", Revue trimestrielle de droit européen, 52 (2016), No. 4, pp. 719-734.
- Hooft van, A., "Brexit and the Future of Intellectual Property Litigation and Arbitration", Journal of international arbitration, 33 (2016), pp. 541-564.
- Kaczorowska-Ireland, A., European Union law, Fourth Edition, London : New York, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2016.
- Kaiser, R., "Auf dem Weg zum "Brexit" - Die Europäische Union im britischen Verfassungsrecht", Europarecht: in Verbindung mit der Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft für Europarecht, 51 (2016), No. 6, pp. 593-606.
- Kendrick, M., "Judicial Protection and the UK's Opt-Outs: is Britain alone in the CJEU?", in Birkinshaw, P.J. and Biondi, A. (eds.), Britain alone!: the implications and consequences of United Kingdom exit from the EU, Alphen aan den Rijn, Wolters Kluwer, 2016, pp. 165-182.
- Kim, K., "A Long Road to Brexit: how Britain came to leave the EU", Journal of East Asia and international law, 9 (2016), No. 2, pp. 551-561.
- Komninos, A., Brexit and Competition Law, Kluwer Competition Law Blog, May 20, 2016.
- Kreindler, R., Gilbert, P. and Zimbron, R., "Impact of Brexit on UK Competition Litigation and Arbitration", Journal of international arbitration, 33 (2016), pp. 521-540.
- Kühn Baca, W.M., "Aspectos juridicos y perspectivas políticas de un posible retiro de la Unión Europea por parte del Reino Unido", Política internacional: revista de la Academia Diplomática del Peru Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, (2015), No. 115, pp. 65-92.
- LaMaster, J.C. and Hammerson, M., "Brexit and the UK Oil & Gas Sector", The Denning law journal, 28 (2016), No. null, pp. 9-18.
- Lang, A.T.F., The Consequences of Brexit: Some Complications From International Law, London, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE, 2014.
- Law Society of England and Wales, Brexit and the law, London, The Law Society, 2017.
- Lein, E., "Unchartered Territory? A Few Thoughts on Private International Law post Brexit", Yearbook of private international law ..., 17 (2017), No. null, pp. 33-47.
- Maier, B. and Pitaraki, A., "The Many Identities of the European Union: Exploring the Rival Trade and Investment Ambitions of Organization and Members", Manchester journal of international economic law, 13 (2016), No. 3, pp. 357-388.
- Mansel, H., Thorn, K. and Wagner, R., "Europäisches Kollisionsrecht 2016: Brexit ante portas!", IPRax: Praxis des internationalen Privat- und Verfahrensrechts, 37 (2017), No. 1, pp. 1-39.
- Marrero González, G., "' Brexit': Consequences for Citizenship of the Union and Residence Rights", Maastricht journal of European and comparative law, 23 (2016), No. 5, pp. 796-811.
- Masters, S. and McRae, B., "What Does Brexit Mean for the Brussels Regime?", Journal of international arbitration, 33 (2016), pp. 483-499.
- McIlwrath, M., "An Unamicable Separation: Brexit Consequences for London as a Pemier Seat of International Dispute Resolution", Journal of international arbitration, 33 (2016), pp. 429-450.
- Micossi, S., "Soft Brexit" is not an option, Brussels, Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), 2016.
- Parent, C., "Le droit de retrait de l'Union européenne", Revue du droit public et de la science politique en France et à l'étranger, (2016), No. 3, pp. 935-956.
- Phillipson, G., "A Dive into Deep Constitutional Waters: Article 50, the Prerogative and Parliament", The modern law review, 79 (2016), No. 6, pp. 1064-1089.
- Piris, J., "Which Options would be available for the United Kingdom in the Case of a Withdrawal from the EU?", in Birkinshaw, P.J. and Biondi, A. (eds.), Britain alone!: the implications and consequences of United Kingdom exit from the EU, Alphen aan den Rijn, Wolters Kluwer, 2016, pp. 111-137.
- Reid, C.T., "Brexit and the Future of UK Environmental Law", Journal of energy & natural resources law: the journal of the Section on Energy and Natural Resources Law of the International Bar Association, 34 (2016), No. 4, pp. 407-415.
- Rühl, G., "Die Wahl englischen Rechts und englischer Gerichte nach dem Brexit: zur Zukunft des Justizstandorts England", Juristenzeitung, 72 (2017), No. 2, pp. 72-82.
- Ruiz Díaz Labrano, R., "La salida de un Estado Miembro en el proceso de integración: el Reino Unido y la Unión Europea = A saída de um Estado-Membro no processo de integração: o Reino Unido e a União Europeia", RSTPR = Revista de la Secretaria del Tribunal Permanente de Revisión = Revista da Secretaria do Tribunal Permanente de Revisão, 4 (2016), No. 8, pp. 41-63.
- Spencer, J.R., "Criminal Law", in Birkinshaw, P.J. and Biondi, A. (eds.), Britain alone!: the implications and consequences of United Kingdom exit from the EU, Alphen aan den Rijn, Wolters Kluwer, 2016, pp. 183-197.
- Social Science Research Network, The UK’s status in the WTO after Brexit, [Rochester, NY], [Social Science Research Network], 2016.
- Thiele, A., "Der Austritt aus der EU - Hintergründe und rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen eines "Brexit"", Europarecht: in Verbindung mit der Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft für Europarecht, 51 (2016), No. 3, pp. 281-303.
- Tobler, C., "One of Many Challenges after 'Brexit': The Institutional Framework of an Alternative Agreement - Lessons from Switzerland and Elsewhere?", Maastricht journal of European and comparative law, 23 (2016), No. 4, pp. 575-594.
- Tynes, D.S. and Haugsdal, E.L., "In, Out or In-between?: The UK as a Contracting Party to the Agreement on the European Ecoconomic Area", European law review, 41 (2016), No. 5, pp. 753-765.
- Young, A.L., Democratic dialogue and the constitution, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2017.
- Zoethout, C., "Nu ook nog een Brexit uit de Europese Conventie?", Nederlandsch juristenblad: weekblad behoorende bij de Nederlandsche jurisprudentie, 91 (2016), No. 36, pp. 2678-2681.