The Withdrawal Method

There are several strategies that can be used by the UK government to avoid implementing the exit from the EU. We summarize them here.

The Law – Article 50

The process of withdrawal is governed by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which we reproduced in full due to its brevity.

 	
Article 50

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in 
accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the 
European Council of its intention. In the light of the 
guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall 
negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting
out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of 
the framework for its future relationship with the Union. 
That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 
218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. 
It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, 
acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent 
of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question 
from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement 
or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to 
in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with 
the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this 
period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the 
European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing 
Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the 
European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with 
Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the 
European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, 
its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in 
Article 49. 

What follows are some potential strategies for the UK and EC to avoid brexit without a 2nd Referendum. One note: If you are thinking “conspiracy” here, then please check the outcome and EU attitude to the recent referenda in Crimea, Greece, Switzerland, and The Netherlands.

Non-Submission

There is no process or timeline governing the submission under article 50. Article 50 comes into effect on receipt of the request from the member. There is no timeline governing when the UK has to implement the referendum decision and make this request.

All that has been said thus far, ironically embedded into Cameron’s resignation, is that his successor, chosen by the Conservative Party Conference in October, will initiate the process. His successor will decide when, or indeed if, to invoke Article 50.

It’s what the American voters, the non-bovine ones, call “kicking the can”. We call it a delaying tactic. Playing for time. They can stall the deal.

Election Issue

Given that we are unlikely to see any attempt to invoke Article 50 before the end of 2017, a so called “final decision” on invocation might be electionized as a key issue in the next General Election, and perhaps even one or two after that.

Mutually Assured Delays

What we call MAD. The Mutually Assured Delay strategy that is built-in to the fabric of Article 50 itself. Fifty affords an obstinate leaver the opportunity to automatically leave two years after invocation simply by refusing to come to any agreement. To leave with no agreements concluded however, ensures they will be punished severly in world trade.

There is the possibility, if both the errant child and the EC agree, to extend the period of negotiatons. Absent any time limit.

We can see this becoming an annual rubber-stamp affair the same way as all those still-in-effect temporary anti-terror laws are, after decades of “extensions” in some cases.

And the EU are no strangers to protracted talks now, are they?

Remain Maidan

This is by far and away our preferred solution. The United States should immediately release funds to finance the multitude of extreme right groups in the UK to launch a pro-EU colour-revolution posing as peaceful protestors.

Trafalgar Square and perhaps Picadilly Circus should be taken over as they provide easy access for State Department and Pentagon officials to reach with supplies of tea and biscuits and will not disrupt the City of London financial sector.

Factions within UKAF (United Kingdom Armed Forces) will be able to assist with the discrete removal of activists’ remains to secure land-fill facilities once the regime-change has been effected.

Conclusion

Clause 4 ensures that until what the Germans call an Endlösung has been reached, the United Kingdom is and will remain more-or-less in a state of limbo viz-a-viz its position in Europe. Bound by EC rules, unable to participate in EC deliberations.

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