The House of Commons Library has published a short Briefing Paper: “Brexit Unknowns“. The paper includes a series of questions and answers. For example:

  • Can an Article 50 notification be withdrawn?

Article 50 TUE does not say. It might imply that notification could not be withdrawn, because it has some specific provisions on when the Treaties cease to apply, and how a former Member State can re-join. Parties to the High Court challenge … assumed that Article 50 is irrevocable, but this is disputed … Under the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, a notification of intention to withdraw from a treaty ‘may be revoked at any time before it takes effect’ (Article 68). However, this provision does not override any specific arrangements in a treaty. … it might be for the Court of Justice of the EU to decide whether Article 50 is revocable …”

  • Will there be a referendum on the terms of Brexit? Legally possible but politically unlikely
  • What will happen to EU law in the UK? The Government intends to introduce a ‘Great Repeal Bill’ in 2017 to convert the EU acquis into UK law but without an EU Basis. The Government (and Parliament?) will decide what to keep, repeal and amend. We don’t know [for example] how much European Union law will be transposed into domestic law after the UK leaves … whether the UK will seek to remove all references to EU institutions from the domestic law; … whether the law will be updated in line with any changes made by the EU; the extent to which changes to legislation to give effect to Brexit will be set out in primary legislation; … whether the ‘Great Repeal Bill’ will simply transpose EU law into domestic law or include substantive changes to the law to come into force after Brexit [or] whether the UK courts will continue to rely upon the jurisprudence of the CJEU when interpreting EU law after it has been transposed into domestic law“;
  • The UK and Ireland: Brexit could mean that an external border of the EU will run through the island of Ireland“.