EU-flash: Outcome of the UK referendum


On June 23, the British held a referendum on leaving the European Union or staying in it. The unexpected negative outcome of this referendum cast a shadow on the normal activities of the Europen Union this week.

Below you can find a brief summary of these topics.

Outcome of the referendum in the UK

On 23 June, the British people have voted to leave the European Union after a historic referendum. The decision in favour of Brexit represents the biggest shock to the political establishment in Britain and across Europe for decades. Normal activities in the European Union this week were overshadowed by the outcome of the referendum. 

Joint statement by the Presidents of EU institutions

A few hours after the outcome, President Juncker hosted a meeting in Brussels bringing together the Presidents of the European Parliament and European Council alongside the Dutch Prime Minister representing the Council Presidency.

In their statement, the Presidents call for:

  • Strength and unity and calls on the British government to act swiftly and set out the next steps.
  • Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union sets out the procedure.
  • The ‘New Settlement for the UK’, agreed in February this year, will cease to exit.
  • The UK remains an EU Member State until the negotiations are completed.

More information.

Resolution of the European Parliament

An extraordinary session of the European Parliament was held on 28 June as a result of the UK referendum. After a debate between Parliament’s political group leaders, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Dutch minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, the Parliament voted a resolution on ways forward after the UK referendum.

The Parliament calls upon the UK government to respect its people’s democratic decision via a swift and coherent implementation of the withdrawal procedure, i.e. by activating Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union so as to allow withdrawal negotiations to start as soon as possible.

To prevent damaging uncertainty for everyone and to protect the Union’s integrity, the UK Prime Minister should notify the outcome of the referendum to the European Council of 28-29 June, in order to launch the withdrawal procedure and negotiations as soon as possible.

Full details.

European Council

On the 28 and 29th of June an extra-ordinary European Council meeting, with Heads of Governments and States, has taken place.

On the 28th of June, UK Prime Minister Cameron outlined the results of Thursday's referendum. Respecting the will of the British people, the European Council recognized that a process of orderly exit was in everyone's, and especially, in the UK's interest. Prime Minister Cameron undertook that the decision to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union be taken by the new leadership in Britain, which is expected for September.

On the 29th of June, an informal discussion took place, among the 27 Member States, on reflections were made on the future of the EU. The leaders were absolutely determined to remain united and work closely together as 27. They reconfirmed that Britain's withdrawal from the European Union must be orderly and there will be no negotiations of any kind until the UK formally notifies its intention to withdraw. This was a first exchange of the 27 leaders after the British referendum and it would be too early to draw conclusions. A political reflection on the future of EU with 27 states has started and they will meet on 16 September in Bratislava to continue talks.

More information.

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