I emailed the EU with two questions;
1. What will be the position of UK MEPs after Article 50 is activated?
2. What will be position regarding the UK’s payments to the EU after Article 50 is activated?
The EU’s non-reply suggests that the position on both matters and anything else relating to post-Article 50 activation is not set in stone. In other words what happens after Article 50 is activated will be pure politics not legal rights and duties.
The other interesting point about their reply is the endorsement of Cameron’s claim for his “concessions” is that they are legally enforceable. This could either mean that the EU is happy to cynically promise what they would never grant in practice or that the “concessions” are so minor the EU does not think them of any consequence. Here is their reply in full:
Dear Robert Henderson,
Thank you for your message.
The Europe Direct (EDCC) service is unable to comment on present policies or future developments regarding the role of the UK in the EU. Neither EDCC nor The Commission can speculate on hypothetical situations. However we thank you for your comment.
At a historic meeting of the European Council on 18 – 19 February 2016, Heads of State or Government reached agreement on a ‘New Settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union’. This agreement will permit Prime Minister Cameron to campaign for the United Kingdom to stay in the European Union in the upcoming referendum on 23 June 2016.
The set of arrangements is a legally binding agreement, which addresses the concerns of the United Kingdom and safeguards the values of the Union.
Following the European Council, European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, welcomed the agreement at a press conference: “The deal we have agreed now is a fair one, a fair one for Britain, a fair one for the other Member States, a fair one for the European Union. It is fair, it is also legally sound. The deal responds to all the concerns of the United Kingdom, and respects the basic principles of our Union. At the same time it safeguards the integrity of the single market and the cohesion of the Eurozone. This deal does not deepen cracks in our Union but builds bridges.”
You can find more information about the UK-EU settlement at:
Please make sure you check the European Council conclusions, 18-19 February 2016, as well.
We hope you find this information useful.
With kind regards,
EUROPE DIRECT Contact Centre