What you should know about Article 50

As an EU resident in the UK or a UK national in Europe, you’ve probably heard of it already. If not probably should feel concerned about this topic. Here is why.

Last June, British voters decided to leave the European Union. However, this result does not have any official impact on the country’s exit. This is the job of Article 50.

Article 50 is the article of the Treaty of Lisbon that deals with a country’s withdrawal of the Union

It gives any member the right to leave the EU and two years to negotiate an exit deal. Once triggered, it cannot be stopped. All 28 member states have to unanimously agree to the terms of the deal and each of them has a veto right.

Last October, Theresa May announced that she would trigger it by the end of March 2017. This means that Britain will officially leave the EU in March 2019. It also means that, theoretically, no negotiation should start before March of next year, even if Mrs May tries to find an agreement over EU residents in the UK (see article here).

However things will not be that easy for May to trigger Article 50. Indeed, last week, a High Court decision ruled that it was unconstitutional for her to trigger the process without first consulting the Member of Parliaments. What is now called the “Article 50” is currently examined by the 11 Supreme Court judges.

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