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Brexit and Article 50 TEU: a constitutionalist reading

Eeckhout, P.; Frantziou, E.

Brexit and Article 50 TEU: a constitutionalist reading Thumbnail


P. Eeckhout


This article considers the constitutional requirements and implications of Article 50 TEU for the EU. It argues that it is essential to read Article 50 in light of the features of the Treaty of which it forms part together with its drafting context, that of the Convention on the Future of Europe, as well as the substantive protections of EU constitutional law. The article demonstrates that important constitutional constraints are in place in EU law, which can affect the most significant debates in the withdrawal process, namely: the manner in which notification to withdraw from the Union is given; the revocability of a decision to withdraw; and the legal basis and content of the withdrawal agreement. Most importantly, a reading of Article 50 informed by key constitutional features of the EU legal order stipulates clear duties for the EU to respect the UK’s constitutional requirements and to protect, in any eventual agreement, acquired rights for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU, by emphasizing the illegality of a non-compliant withdrawal agreement from the EU perspective.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 23, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 3, 2017
Publication Date Jun 3, 2017
Deposit Date Sep 20, 2018
Publicly Available Date Sep 24, 2018
Journal Common Market Law Review
Print ISSN 0165-0750
Publisher Kluwer Law International
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 54
Issue 3
Pages 695-733
Public URL
Publisher URL
Related Public URLs


Accepted Journal Article (374 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Reprinted from Common Market Law Review, 54, 3, 2017, 695-733, with permission of Kluwer Law International.

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