The Extension of UK Membership in the EU: Causes and Consequences
DCU Brexit Institute – Working Paper N. 9 - 2019
24 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2019 Last revised: 4 Dec 2019
Date Written: September 5, 2019
Article 50(3) TEU foresees that a member state which has notified its intention to withdraw from the EU will leave the EU two years after the notification, unless the European Council in agreement with the member state concerned unanimously decides to extend this period. In March and April 2019, based on a request by the UK Government, the European Council granted for two times an extension under Article 50(3) TEU, postponing Brexit. This article offers a comprehensive analysis of the legal, political and institutional aspects of the extension of the Brexit withdrawal period. For this purpose, it first provides an overview of the law of extension and in particular the relationship between exten-sion, transition and revocation. Subsequently, it analyzes the politics of extension, explaining the rea-sons that pushed the UK to request an extension, and the conditions that the European Council attached to its latest decision allowing it. Finally, the articles discusses the consequences of an extension for EU institutions, particularly the European Parliament, as well as for the functioning of the EU more generally, also in light of the likely request by the UK to further postpone Brexit to 2020, pursuant to recently adopted EU Withdrawal Act (No 2) 2019.
Keywords: Brexit, United Kingdom, UK, European Union, EU, Extension, Law, Politics
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation