Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union (the “Lisbon Treaty”) sets out that the European Union Withdrawal Agreement should take account of the terms for the departing Member State’s future relationship with the EU.
- A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.
But at the same time, EU law prohibits trade agreements between the EU and member states, so the future relationship definitionally remains open until the Article 50 process is completed.
Can someone square this circle for me?
The future relationship - by definition - cannot be defined prior to leaving the EU. And yet the 50(2) agreement needs to take the future relationship into account. Why am I wrong and what am I missing?