Brexit: European Council decision taken in agreement with the United Kingdom, extending the period under Article 50 TEU (31 October 2019)

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Latest news about Brexit. By letter of 20 March 2019, the United Kingdom submitted a request for an extension of the period provided for in Article 50(3) TEU until 30 June 2019, with a view to finalising the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement.

By Decision (EU) 2019/4761, the European Council, in agreement with the United Kingdom, decided to extend the period under Article 50(3) TEU until 22 May 2019 in the event that the House of Commons approved the Withdrawal Agreement by 29 March 2019.

If that were not to be the case, the European Council agreed to an extension until 12 April 2019 and specified that it expected the United Kingdom to indicate a way forward before 12 April 2019, for its consideration.

The House of Commons did not approve the Withdrawal Agreement by 29 March 2019.

By letter of 5 April 2019, the United Kingdom submitted a request for a further extension of the period provided for in Article 50(3) TEU, as extended by the European Council, until 30 June 2019, with a view to finalising the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement.

On 10 April 2019, the European Council agreed to a further extension to allow for the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement by both Parties. Such an extension should last as long as necessary and, in any event, no longer than 31 October 2019.

The European Council also recalled that, under Article 50(3) TEU, the Withdrawal Agreement may enter into force on an earlier date, should the Parties complete their respective ratification procedures before 31 October 2019. Consequently, the withdrawal should take place on the first day of the month following the completion of the ratification procedures or on 1 November 2019, whichever is the earliest.

This further extension cannot be allowed to undermine the regular functioning of the Union and its institutions. Furthermore, it will have the consequence that the United Kingdom will remain a Member State until the new withdrawal date, with full rights and obligations in accordance with Article 50 TEU, and that the United Kingdom has a right to revoke its notification at any time.

31 May 2019
If the United Kingdom is still a Member State on 23-26 May 2019, and if it has not ratified the Withdrawal Agreement by 22 May 2019, it will be under an obligation to hold the elections to the European Parliament in accordance with Union law.

In the event that those elections do not take place in the United Kingdom, the extension should cease on 31 May 2019.

The European Council takes note of the commitment by the United Kingdom to act in a constructive and responsible manner throughout the extension period in accordance with the duty of sincere
cooperation, and expects the United Kingdom to fulfil this commitment and Treaty obligation in a manner that reflects its situation as a withdrawing Member State. To this effect, the United Kingdom shall facilitate the achievement of the Union’s tasks and shallrefrain from any measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the Union’s objectives, in particular when participating in the decision-making processes of the Union.

The ongoing mandates of members of institutions, bodies, offices and agencies of the Union nominated, appointed or elected in relation to the United Kingdom’s membership of the Union will end as soon as the Treaties cease to apply to the United Kingdom, i.e. on the date of the withdrawal.

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