Be careful what you wish for: procedural parameters of EU withdrawal

Lazowski, A. (2017) Be careful what you wish for: procedural parameters of EU withdrawal. In: Dealing with Secession from a Member State and Withdrawal from the European Union: Troubled Membership. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 234-255. ISBN 9781316623367

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Easiness with which the political circles talk about withdrawal from the European Union is rather surprising and proves that the legal parameters of an EU exit are not treated seriously enough. In theoretical terms Article 50 TEU allows for a unilateral exit as well as for a consensual divorce. Arguably, the first is an interesting abstract proposition, which, however, in practical terms seems to be an unworkable solution. Hence, the only realistic option is a proper divorce based on a withdrawal agreement. As per Article 50 TEU, it would be negotiated by the European Union with a departing country and should cover the terms of withdrawal and “take account of future relations” between the EU and the divorcee. It is submitted that in order to avoid a legal vacuum, this agreement should not only “take account of future relations” but actually deal with them thoroughly. This will make the negotiations difficult and, most likely, time consuming. One also has to envisage a scenario whereby a country leaving the European Union would join EFTA and become a EFTA-EU Member State of the European Economic Area. Should that happen the scope of a EU withdrawal agreement would be limited to the terms of exit, while future relations between the divorcee and the European Union would be mainly covered by the EEA Agreement. This chapter unlocks the mechanics of Article 50 TEU and the withdrawal procedure it provides for. It covers the issues that should be attended to by the negotiators and provides an overview of dossiers that are likely be covered in a withdrawal agreement.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: University of Westminster > Westminster Law School
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Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2015 14:25
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2017 15:17

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