We have already left the EU

Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union – what it actually says

3 June, 2019

by Stanley Brodie QC

In his article for Lawyers for Britain, Stanley Brodie QC invites attention to something which is often overlooked – the actual wording of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union which regulates the departure of Member States from the EU. View the full article: Article 50 TEU Part I and Part II (23.5.19) by Stanley Brodie QC

He analyses the request made by outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May under Article 50 for an extension of the UK’s EU membership until 30 June 2019, and concludes that this request was legally valid; however, it was rejected by the EU.

He reasons that the counter-proposal by the EU did not comply with the terms of the proviso to Art.50(3) TEU, and accordingly that it was not effective in law to to stop the Article 50 process running up to and including 29 March 2019 at 11.00pm. He concludes:

Whichever way one looks at it, the Agreement was either unlawful or made for an unlawful purpose or ultra vires. That means that the UK left the EU on the 29th March 2019 by default as there was no valid or lawful impediment to prevent it.

Stanley Brodie QC recently retired from practice at the Bar of England and Wales after over 60 years, including over 40 years as Queen’s Counsel. He practised at the commercial Bar from Blackstone Chambers, being instructed in a wide spectrum of cases. He has acted in a number of high profile public law cases such as Re-Preston and Imperial Tobacco v The Attorney General. He was educated at the Bradford Grammar School and Balliol College, Oxford. In 2000, Stanley served as Treasurer of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.

Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union – what it actually says

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