Behind the Headlines

“The EU will take a request for an extension from the UK as a matter of "legal fact" whether or not Johnson actually sends a letter himself”. Really?

Written on 09/05/2019


What’s the story?

Tom Kibasi from the Institute for Public Policy Research has claimed that “if the no-deal bill passes, they [the EU] will take a request for an extension from the UK as a matter of "legal fact" whether or not Johnson actually sends a letter himself”. Read his Tweet here.


How reliable is it?

 

Not reliable. Article 50(3) TEU clearly says the opposite: 

 

“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.”

 

As far as the EU is concerned, any UK request for an extension by the must be made by the government. Article 10(2) states that “Member States are represented in the European Council by their Heads of State or Government and in the Council by their governments, themselves democratically accountable either to their national Parliaments, or to their citizens.”

 

Hence the need for the UK legislation requiring the government to ask for an extension to be actually implemented.

 


 

What’s the background?

 

 

Photo courtesy of European Council