Brexit: How Article 50 works

Background

Article 50 sets out the legal basis by which a member state leaves the EU. As such it will govern the process for Brexit. Article 50 has never been triggered before as no member has ever left the EU.

How does the UK trigger Brexit?

The UK government has to formally notify the EU that it intends to leave. It is key to note that the Brexit referendum was technically only an advisory vote for the UK government. So the UK needs to formally notify the EU of its intention to leave, at which point Article 50 will be triggered and the UK will start the process of exiting the EU.

When will the UK trigger Article 50?

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