Brexit – Is the Door Still Open to Stay in the EU?

By Ambassador David O'Sullivan

Prior to arriving in the United States, David O'Sullivan served as the Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service. The EEAS supports the High Representative/Vice President of the European Commission, in fulfilling her mandate to ensure the consistency of the Union's external action. The EEAS also assists the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission in the area of external relations.

The Ambassador of the European Union to the United States has told The Cipher Brief that “no-one is in a hurry for the UK to leave” the EU. Ambassador David O’Sullivan said Tuesday’s meeting of national leaders in Brussels would be looking to British Prime Minister David Cameron for an explanation as to what has just happened, its consequences and to give a likely timetable to make its definitive position known.

The EU Ambassador said that until such time as the United Kingdom makes a proposal to trigger Article 50 to begin exit negotiations, it remains a full member of the European Union. He added that while he didn’t know how the debate post-referendum in Britain would play out; the referendum result in itself does not have legal effect in European terms.

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