Since the ‘Leave’ campaign was victorious on June 23, there has been a lack of clarity regarding the solution for Brexit. While different ideas have been thrown about, nothing has been set in stone.
Even recently elected Prime Minister Theresa May, who staunchly declared ‘Brexit means Brexit’, has not offered a solid direction for Britain. It is still not clear whether Britain will remain in the single market, or if we will leave altogether and have the freedom to negotiate our own trade deals. Sure, Theresa May has announced that Article 50 would likely be triggered next year, but this is still vague, and Britain wouldn’t completely leave the EU until 2019 at the earliest.
Many have quite reasonably elicited frustration at this. In fact, some have feared that the longer the negotiations are stalled, the less likely it will be that we actually do leave.
There is an alternative route to take however, to ensure that we leave more easily. This involves consulting the Vienna Agreement on the Law of Treaties (1969). In this agreement, terms and conditions are essentially laid out over treaties struck between European countries.
In particular, the most relevant part is Article 60-70. These are concerned with a nation’s ability and rights to withdraw from multilateral treaties. Article 65 especially is the central part of these treaties.
If Article 65 were to be invoked, this would give a nation the ability to withdraw from any chosen treaty or treaties after a minimum period of three months. Backed up by the Lisbon Treaty (2006), it would enable Britain to sever ties with the EU within a matter of months, as opposed to the two years implicated in Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty itself.
Additionally, there is much concern about the rights of expats living across Europe, and EU citizens living in Britain. Article 70 itself deals with this issue. It states that the rights of those who had changed circumstances because of a treaty would legally not have them altered. In other words, someone who had moved to a different country because of the free movement law (Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union – 2007) would not be forced away from their present current residence.