Brexit: Article 50 to be activated (The Lisbon Treaty)

UK Prime Minister Theresa May will notify European Council President Donald Tusk on March 29 that she wishes to activate Article 50 and begin the process of negotiating the UK's withdrawal from the EU

The Lisbon Treaty was signed by the heads of state and government of the 27 EU Member States on 13 December 2007. It is intended to reform the functioning of the European Union following the two waves of enlargement which have taken place since 2004 and which have increased the number of EU Member States from 15 to 27.

Article 50 - The Lisbon Treaty

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 If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.