8 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Article 50

By: James Spencer-Boyce, Student Voices Writer | @spennabee

1. Article 50 is one of 55 articles that make up the Treaty on European Union – Article 1-8 make up ‘common provisions’ such as legal values, aims, obligations and human rights. Articles 9-12 are about democracy within the union – both parties and representation. Article 13-19 concerns the devolution of power – including the European Parliament, European council, The European Commission and The European court of justice.  Article 20 simply regards co-operation and the means of interaction of member states. Article 21-46, nobody really knows, and if they do, nobody cares. And finally, articles 47-55 include applications to join the EU, Law amendment and procedures and finally, within article 50, withdrawal. 

2. Once triggered, a nation state, so for example Britain come April (we assume) has only two years to negotiate trade deals. This bit simply put, is hilarious. Because, if after that two year deal, the leaving country has not come to an agreement with the EU on trade, they are simply booted out. Imagine sitting around the dinner table and having 5 minutes to negotiate with your parents for what is for dinner and by the end you have agreed nothing. You quite simply get nothing! That same rule applies here. Let’s just hope these Europeans aren’t too harsh on us!

3. The period of time in which a member state negotiates to leave the EU after triggering article 50 is called the sunset period. Aw how cute.

4. There was once a political party in Holland called ‘Article 50’, and, as the title suggests, they were euro-sceptics who wanted to leave the EU. They were formed by a Dutch MEP Daniël van der Stoep, however they ceased to exist in September 2017. It’s a shame really, imagine the amount of accidental views their party website would get from people trying to understand article 50 of the Lisbon treaty but accidentally stumbling onto their site! 

5. Britain will be the first nation state to have to trigger article 50; however both Greenland, formerly part of Denmark and Algeria, a former French colony (which left after gaining full independence) left in 1985 and 1962 respectively.  Saint Barthalemy also withdrew from the EU – but it is not a country and plus nobody has ever heard of it or even knows where it is (no offence). 

6. Article 50 is actually only 250 words long in its entirety. Yep, that’s shorter than your English controlled assessment you had to do the other week!

7. Anagrams of Article 50 (fifty) include: Attic Firefly, Literacy Tiff, Facelift I try, Real City Tiff, Fail City Fret, Fat Icy Trifle, At Relic Fifty, Cattle If I Fry and many more! There are about 50,000 to pick from. Not political but just a bit of fun!

8. Article 50 was introduced on December 1 2009 – and therefore shares its birthday with Iceland and Yugoslavia (both formed on 1st December 1918), the day Parliament got its first woman MP on 1st December 1919 – Lady Astor of Plymouth, on 1st December 1991 Ukraine voted overwhelmingly to leave Russia and on 1st December 1949, Drug lord Pablo Escobar was born.
8 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Article 50 8 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Article 50 Reviewed by Student Voices on 20:24 Rating: 5

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