Article 50 TEU says:

The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

And "The Treaties" is defined as:

the present Treaty (TEU) and on the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union

So both these treaties cease to apply. But if there are other UK/EU treaties, might they continue to have effect? Are there any other such treaties?

For example - the other such treaties (if they exist) might be "downstream" from these main two, and hence no longer apply.

1 Answer 1


There are treaties between the UK and various individual countries in the EU. For example there is a treaty with France to avoid double taxation that was agreed in 2008. Similarly, the Good Friday Agreement with Ireland will remain in force.

There are no other treaties between the UK and the EU. As a member of the EU the UK can't form a bilateral treaty with the EU (as it would be a treaty with itself) The treaties that form the EU which are multilateral treaties between the 28 countries in the EU are those mentioned in Article 50. There are no other multilateral treaties that include the whole EU.

It is possible that there could be other treaties, for example the Schengen agreement includes some countries not in the EU, and doesn't include all EU countries. If a member withdrew from the EU, it would have to separately withdraw from Schengen if it wanted to close its borders. Something similar exists between the UK and Ireland on the common travel area.

  • That's a bit simplistic, I can think of several treaties that do not fit this description so neatly. The EEA agreement is a treaty to which both the EU and the UK are a party (along with all other EU members and a few third countries). It's difficult to see how it could continue to apply although I could imagine it would be formally denounced separately.
    – Relaxed
    Sep 30, 2019 at 21:11
  • The various treaties of accession are treaties between all member states of the EU, old and new (but not the EU itself). Again, it wouldn't really make sense for them to apply to the UK after Brexit but those are not unrelated bilateral agreements. They are still in force and an integral part of EU primary law, which is why specialists typically include them when they are taking about “the treaties”.
    – Relaxed
    Sep 30, 2019 at 21:14
  • The Schengen area isn't separate from EU law anymore. It did start as a pair of treaties (the Schengen agreement, which is legally mostly empty, and the Convention implementing the Schengen agreement) but it is now part of the EU acquis, a very messy construction. Changes to the rules, including membership in the area are implemented through EU regulations and decisions, you cannot be part of it without the EU condoning it. I have no idea how a country would extricate itself from the Schengen area (mostly they just ignore the rules, that's much easier).
    – Relaxed
    Sep 30, 2019 at 21:18

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