О, яке чтиво я знайшов!
Q: Could the British government un-trigger Article 50?
At some point, probably early in 2017, the British Prime Minster is likely to trigger Article 50. A number of expert commentators and a large proportion of the British public still believe that it is a mistake for the UK to leave the EU. If it becomes obvious within the two-year countdown that triggering Article 50 was a bad idea, would it be possible to 'retract' a declaration under Article 50 and remain within the EU or would the UK be treated as a new applicant? How would this depend on whether this was supported by other EU members or not?
І докладна відповідь (читайте за посиланням; тут лише вирізка):
Article 50(3) provides that "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".
It seems clear to me that the word "unless" (emphasised by me above) was intended by the drafters to cover the circumstances under which the rule which comes before it can be ignored. There is a principle of statutory interpretation, "the express mention of one thing excludes all others" (in latin: Expressio unius est exclusio alterius). The drafters of Article 50 have provided exactly one method of avoiding EU withdrawal 2 years following notification (in the absence of a withdrawal agreement) after the word "unless": unanimous agreement of the Council to extend the period for reaching agreement. Or to put it another way, it unambiguously states that unless there is a unanimously agreed extension, then the Member State will no longer be in the EU either after 2 years from notification, or in accordance with the withdrawal agreement. If the drafters had intended for a notice to be revocable, then they had their chance to provide for this after the word "unless". They didn't, so we must assume that it wasn't intended for this to be possible.
Another compelling argument is the actual provision for extending the 2 year period in which agreement must be reached, which requires unanimous agreement of the other Member States via the Council. Allowing a notice to be withdrawn would essentially make a nonsense of this provision, as a Member State wanting to extend beyond 2 years could simply withdraw their notice and resubmit it the next day, thus gaining an additional 2 years without any agreement from the other Member States. It can't have been the drafters' intention to allow this requirement to be so easily circumvented.