Brexit drama in three acts: Negotiation phases & scenarios


Brussels and London are gearing up for the Brexit negotiations. Prime Minister Theresa May delivered her Brexit speech and the Supreme Court ruled that the UK Parliament has to give its assent. The British government is still planning to declare that the UK intends to leave the EU by the end of March 2017. But how will the Brexit negotiations unfold?

Valentin Kreilinger, Sophia Becker and Laura Maria Wolfstädter systematize the next steps in the process and examine the individual procedural requirements in order to analyse the legal and institutional context of Article 50 TEU.

In order to be able to correctly classify the various legal requirements and political issues, the negotiations can be split into three acts:

  • The withdrawal negotiations pursuant to Article 50 TEU (“the exit”)
  • Negotiations and the shape of the future relationship between the EU and the UK (“the future”)
  • The reconfiguration the EU Treaties (“the rest”)

For the first act, “the exit”, the authors distinguish five phases for which they describe the necessary steps and their legal requirements – without making a political assessment. In the second act, “the future”, they summarize four outcome scenarios (a Free trade agreement and possible alternatives: Neighbourhood agreement, New partnership format, Access to the internal market). Finally, the third act, “the rest”, looks at the legal requirements for a reconfiguration of the EU Treaties. This ultimately depends on the outcomes of the two previous processes.

The following Infographic summarizes Negotiating Brexit: