Brexit—exiting the EU under Article 50
Produced in partnership with Adam Cygan of University of Leicester
Brexit—exiting the EU under Article 50

The following Public Law guidance note Produced in partnership with Adam Cygan of University of Leicester provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Brexit—exiting the EU under Article 50
  • The legal status of the UK referendum on EU membership
  • Unilateral withdrawal—repeal of the European Communities Act 1972
  • Article 50 TEU
  • Requirements for triggering Article 50 TEU
  • Constitutional requirements for the UK—prerogative powers and parliamentary approval
  • Article 50 litigation
  • The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
  • UK notification under Article 50 TEU
  • Negotiation under Article 50 TEU
  • more

STOP PRESS: On 23 June 2016, the UK held a referendum on its membership of the EU, with a majority voting in favour of the UK leaving the EU. The full impact of Brexit remains to be established but the UK will remain an EU Member State, fully subject to EU law, until the moment that it leaves. We are reviewing our content on the basis of information available and will keep it under regular review throughout the withdrawal period. In the meantime, for background reading, links to related guidance and policy documents, plus the latest analysis on the potential impact on our content, please refer to our Brexit overview, see: Brexit—overview.

This Practice Note explains the operation of the withdrawal process under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and considers the consequences that may arise as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU. This Practice Note identifies key issues in the context of the UK becoming the first EU Member State to withdraw its membership. For details of key events and the latest updates on this subject, see our Practice Note: Brexit timeline.

It is the accepted position of the UK government, and of the EU, that Article 50 TEU is the only legal way in which a Member State may withdraw from the EU. Though theoretically