What Exactly Is Article 50?

Please note this blog post was published over 12 months ago and so may not include the most up-to-date information, for example where regulation around investing has changed.

What Exactly Is Article 50?

Today’s the day, Theresa May has signed the UK’s Article 50 declaration, and the letter formally informing the EU of our decision to Brexit will be delivered later today.

But what exactly is Article 50?

Here’s the literal Article 50, the full text outlined by the EU…

Article 50 – The Full Text

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 If a state which has withdrawn from the union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.


And that’s it. For such a huge moment, it is a fairly brief piece of text. The brevity of this, alongside it being untested by any other nation, makes the UK’s decision to trigger Article 50 all the more fascinating.

How do you feel as the UK delivers Article 50 and starts Brexit? Make your voice heard by voting in our Twitter poll here.

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