Political Reductionism at its Best: the EU Institutions’ Response to the Brexit Referendum

Colleagues have already commented upon the response of the EU institutions to the outcome of the referendum held on 23 June, stressing the rushed and populist attitude shown by the Commission and the EU Parliament, referring, for instance, to the exclusion of the UK from the “informal” meeting of the European Council held on 29 June and to the way in which Juncker made a joke of Nigel Farage, asking why he was in the European Parliament after the UK vote.

However, there is another episode which is very telling, about the respect shown by the “political class” towards Art. 50 of the TEU and, in general, other relevant norms to be taken into account independently from the activation of the exit procedure, like, for instance Art. 4.2 TEU demanding equal treatment of the Members States and respect of their national identity and constitutional structure.

On 28 June 2016, the European Parliament adopted a short resolution on the consequences of the UK referendum held on 23 June.

There is a passage which is based on an evident mistake therein:

“…Warns that in order to prevent damaging uncertainty for everyone and to protect the Union’s integrity, the notification stipulated in Article 50 TEU must take place as soon as possible; expects the UK Prime Minister to notify the outcome of the referendum to the European Council of 28-29 June 2016; this notification will launch the withdrawal procedure.”

As Elliott pointed out this is deeply wrong. The notification will be (if carried out) represented by a further act, whose form is still unclear as the debate among our British colleagues and experts in Constitutional law demonstrates (is it a prerogative of the Prime Minister, will a vote of the Westminster Parliament be necessary? Is it a decision for the Government but under parliamentary scrutiny? Could Scotland pose a veto on that?) ...

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