Withdrawal from The European Union is an option that must be offered to the people of Britain.
Before the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force on 1 December 2009 no provision in the Treaties or Law of the European Union outlined the ability of a state to voluntarily withdraw from the EU.
The European Constitution did propose such a provision and, after the failure to ratify the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, that provision was then included in the Lisbon Treaty.
The Treaty introduces an exit clause for members who wish to withdraw from the Union. Under Article 50, a Member State would notify the European Council of its intention to secede from the Union and a withdrawal agreement would be negotiated between the Union and that State.
The Treaties would cease to be applicable to that State from the date of the agreement or, failing that, within two years of the notification unless the State and the Council both agree to extend this period.
The agreement is concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council and shall set out the arrangements for withdrawal, including a framework for the State's future relationship with the Union.
The agreement is to be approved by the Council, acting by qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
A former Member State seeking to rejoin the European Union would be subject to the same conditions as any other applicant country.
Article 311a, introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon allows the status of French, Dutch and Danish overseas territories to be changed more easily, by no longer requiring a full treaty revision.
Instead, the European Council may, on the initiative of the member state concerned, change the status of an overseas country or territory (OCT) to an outermost region (OMR) or vice versa.
Historical withdrawalsSome former territories of European Union members broke formal links with the EU when they gained independence from their ruling country or were transferred to a EU non-member state. Most of these territories were not classed as part of the EU, but were at most associated with OCT status and EC laws were generally not in force in these countries.
Some current Special Member State territories and the European Union changed or are in the process of changing their status from such, where EU law applies fully or with limited exceptions to such, where the EU law mostly doesn't apply.
The process also occurs in the opposite direction. The procedure for implementing such changes was made easier by the Treaty of Lisbon.
The Britain Must Leave The European Union petition to firstname.lastname@example.org was written by Richard de Meath and is in the category Government at GoPetition.