The right of a Member State to withdraw from the European Union was introduced for the first time with the Lisbon Treaty. Article 50 TEU does not set down any substantive conditions for a Member State to be able to exercise its right to withdraw, but specifies the requirements for such a procedure. It provides for the negotiation of a withdrawal agreement between the EU and the withdrawing state, defining the context for the latter's future relationship with the Union. Agreement must be concluded within two years, otherwise that state's membership automatically expires. The European Council and the Member State concerned however may decide jointly to extend this period.
Withdrawal from the EU has as a legal consequence the end of the EU Treaties application in the state concerned from that point on. EU law ceases to apply in the withdrawing state, although any national acts adopted in implementation or transposition of EU law remain valid unless the national authorities/parliaments decide for their amendment or repeal. A withdrawal agreement would necessitate addressing withdrawal of EU financial programs and other EU norms. The withdrawing state will need to enact new legislation. However, complete isolation of the withdrawing state from the effects of the EU "acquis" is not possible to be achieved if there is to be a future relationship between the former Member State and the EU.
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