Article 50 Overview


As part of the 2007 Lisbon Treaty (which looked to improve how the European Union is run) Article 50 can simply be described as the rules and guidelines for any country that wishes to exit the EU.

The UK government is now negotiating in great detail the consequences of that decision, but rest assured – with a lot still to be agreed the Brexit Decoded team has two main aims:

  • Support the three million EU Nationals who are currently living, working and studying here in the UK with information and assistance.


  • Offer the same support and advice to the two million UK nationals currently working, studying or living in the rest of the EU.


It’s complicated because no Member has ever left the EU before – and Article 50 does not state whether the process can be stopped once it has started?

So, it appears that one way or another the UK will be leaving. However, the final paragraph of Article 50 considers the situation where a former member wishes to rejoin the EU having left. Those rules are contained within Article 49 of the Lisbon Treaty for your reference.

Assuming the European Parliament also gives the green light, the UK will formally leave the EU on 31 January 2020 with a withdrawal deal.

However, this would only mark the next step in the Brexit process. Following its departure, the UK will enter a transition period until at least 31 December 2020.

Members’ rights are broadly agreed and we know that at some stage a new ‘Registration System’ will be introduced in the UK and each of the other EU States.

The rules will be the same, but the systems for registration different – some countries will adopt an online system (as the UK has indicated) whilst others are looking towards a paper process or a combination of the two.

You can read more about this process, join our forum and lots more, here at Brexit Decoded.

We’ll keep you informed all the way – because when a deal is finally agreed it must be approved by what is called a qualified majority. This means that over two thirds of the remaining 27 EU states must agree the deal and it must also have the support of MEPs.

Join the BD Forum

The BD Forum provides members with access to discussions on the topics that matter to you. Whether you are an EU national wishing to discuss matters within a country specific area of the forum or with the wider community you will find answers to questions and be able to access other members’ experiences and knowledge.

Join the BD Forum