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‘Should I Stay or Should I Go ?’—A Critical Analysis of the Right to Withdraw from the EU

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This article seeks to answer one of the key questions facing the EU in the future: what effect will the new right to withdraw have on the EU? Will it lead to a gradual fragmentation of what was supposed to be ‘an ever closer union of unlimited duration’? Or will it even mark the beginning of the end of the Union? In order to answer these complex questions, this article first briefly analyses the pre-Lisbon situation regarding withdrawal. It then critically examines the newly inserted Article 50, which codifies the right to withdraw. Having done so, it will then examine whether non-legal considerations, such as political and economic reasons, will render withdrawal a theoretical rather than realistic option.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Lauterpacht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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