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The outcome of the EU referendum in the United Kingdom


What is the European Parliament’s position on the UK referendum?

The European Parliament will hold an extraordinary plenary session on Tuesday 28 June at 9am UK time.

The debate will be followed by a vote on a number of draft resolutions concerning the outcome of the referendum. The draft resolutions can be accessed here.

The plenary session will be web-streamed. You can follow it by clicking on this link.

What is Article 50?

The right of a Member State to withdraw from the European Union was introduced for the first time with the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. Article 50 TEU does not set down any substantive conditions for a Member State to be able to exercise its right to withdraw, rather it includes only procedural requirements.

Article 50 – Treaty on European Union (TEU)

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 If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

For more information, please follow the links below:

Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union.
European Parliament briefing.
UK Government briefing.
House of Commons Library reading list.
House of Lords briefing.

What will happen to the UK MEPs?

The MEPs have a mandate until 2019 following the most recent European Parliament elections in 2014. This mandate remains unchanged as long as the United Kingdom is a member of the EU.

Find out more about the UK MEPs on our website.