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I have some questions, please help?

(11 Posts)
dragonsarebest Fri 15-Jul-16 08:29:43

As I understand it, all that has happened so far is that an advisory poll has returned a "leave" verdict. Article 50 hasn't been triggered and so - to all intents and purposes - nothing has actually changed yet.

So, until that time, does the UK still attend summits, have a say in decisions made, etc? I wasn't sure after Cameron's attendance at the summit immediately following the Ref whether it was his" last EU summit or ^our last EU summit. Are we still active in the EU Council, for example?

The next question that I have is, what would happen if we decided to stay before Article 50 was triggered? I realise this is theoretical but just interested to know - would we just carry on as if nothing had happened?

Finally, if the UK triggers Article 50 and then during the negotiations it becomes apparent that it would be totally against the country's interest to leave, could we then stay? Or would we be required to continue with the leave process to conclusion, and then reapply to join afterwards?

I'm just curious how this process actually works and haven't been able to find any layman-friendly answers. I understand that Article 50 hasn't been used before, at all, so in some ways we are all on a voyage of discovery...

Thank you in advance.

dragonsarebest Fri 15-Jul-16 08:30:40

Urgh, italics fail... his last EU summit or our last EU summit...

willconcern Fri 15-Jul-16 08:32:56

I'd like to know the answers to these questions too.

tiggytape Fri 15-Jul-16 08:59:48

We can attend formal summits and they cannot stop us because we have a right to be there. But, if they call a summit an "informal" one, they can exclude us. This has already happened with Cameron since the vote and more EU meetings are planned to discuss the future of the EU to which the British will not be invited.
We have no rights over this - if the summits aren't formal ones, we cannot insist on being represented at them.
So we are still members of the EU in a legal sense but in a practical sense we are now treated very firmly as leaving. Lord Hill - our Commissioner who protected financial interests in the EU - has gone and his replacement isn't likely to hold a position of any influence between now and when we leave. The EU are understandably not happy at our decision (they do not view it as a non-binding opinion poll at all - Merkel has said there will be no U-turn) so are not inclined to make this easy on us.

If we decided to stay before Article 50 was triggered, it would be the same as now. We'd legally be in but nobody in the EU would see it that way - we would never be true partners again or treated that way. They would (rightly) assume that it would only be a matter of time before we voted or had a change of government that meant we were on the way out again. It would limp on for a while but really we would always be treated as outsiders - we were never exactly enthusiastic members even before this and always seen as a massive pain by some of the other nations.

Article 50 has never been used before so there will be lots of legal wrangling no doubt about it's intentions and parameters but the assumption is that it is irreversible. And also, in non-legal terms, telling the EU that we're leaving throws them into 2 years of upset, instability and negotiations which creates bad feeling at worst or instability at best. There is little appetite for them to try to win us back now or permit us to stuff up their economies by dithering over this issue for months let alone years.

tiggytape Fri 15-Jul-16 09:06:08

Bratislava is the next "informal" summit. It is being held in September to discuss the future of the EU with all of the remaining 27 nations.
The UK is not invited even though we are very unlikely to have triggered Article 50 by then. We will have no say in the reforms they are discussing or considering.

dragonsarebest Fri 15-Jul-16 09:07:32

Hmm interesting. Thank you. What a mess though.

LurkingHusband Fri 15-Jul-16 14:52:59

What a mess though.

Almost like it hadn't been thought through !

tiggytape Fri 15-Jul-16 14:59:51

Well the original idea seemed to be that the EU would fall over themselves to talk with us and informally discuss all sorts of options we might consider. However, not surprisingly, they weren't keen on keeping their economies and politics in limbo for years whilst we negotiated great things at their expense and they aren't keen on carrying on as if nothing has happened either. A lot of them were in fact doing a very good impression of implying that we'd left already.

GreenMouse Fri 15-Jul-16 15:04:17

I found this really informative and interesting OP, if scary:

concertplayer Fri 15-Jul-16 17:33:45

Imagine it the other way round: Australia tells the UK after years of
friendship they do not want to have such a close relationship. We would be a bit miffed.
The UK put the cart before the horse and basically said "Eu Sod Off"
In diplomacy terms this is not really what to do as it creates deep wounds which never really heal .You see lots of other Eu countries have similar problems and the institution does need reform.
It is a very risky strategy to assume the UK is so wonderful they will give it what it wants especially as there are other countries waiting to join and to whom the Eu can export.
Also and this is crucial: neither side pointed out during the campaign - I
blame Remain for this- that we had quite a good deal eg we were allowed
out of Schengen and to keep Sterling. They also failed to consider the
Scottish situation particularly as Scotland had recently had its own UK
referendum and clearly had itchy feet in some areas.
Leave failed to make it clear that before you can have £x billion to spend
on the NHS you have to earn that money. Businesses make money and Government spends it. Before businesses invest they look for stability.
You do not simply vote Leave and suddenly you have this £350 b. It is the other way round: businesses act quickly Government acts slowly.

dragonsarebest Fri 15-Jul-16 18:05:11

Interesting article GreenMouse - thanks.

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