Aurel Sari, Reversing a Withdrawal Notification under Article 50 TEU: Can the Member States Change Their Mind?

Aurel Sari, Reversing a Withdrawal Notification under Article 50 TEU: Can the Member States Change Their Mind? (November 19, 2016). Exeter Law School Working Paper Series No. 2016/1. Available at SSRN

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether a Member State of the EU may revoke its notice to withdraw from the Union under art.50 TEU. The answer to this question has significant legal and political implications for the relationship between the Member States and the EU. More urgently, it also has significant practical implications for the withdrawal of the UK from the Union. While the reversibility of the UK’s impending notice to leave has taken centre stage in the debate on Brexit, the matter has not been assessed in depth.

The present paper offers a systematic analysis of art.50 TEU based on the applicable rules of interpretation. It demonstrates that the text and context of art.50 TEU, the general scheme of the Treaties, other rules of international law and the relevant preparatory work all confirm that a notice to withdraw is in fact reversible. The SupremeCourt should therefore revisit and overrule the High Court’s recent decision on this point in Miller. Since a systematic interpretation of art.50 TEU leaves no scope for reasonable doubt about its meaning, the Supreme Court may do so without having to refer the question to the Court of Justice of the European Union.



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