Author of Brexit Rules: Yes, This Is Reversible

Author of Article 50 says Britain can halt the process at any time
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2017 7:08 AM CST
British Prime Minister Theresa May departs an EU summit in Brussels on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017.   (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
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(Newser) – An interesting wrinkle in Britain's move toward a Brexit: The guy who wrote the rulebook on the process says it can be reversed at any time. "While the divorce talks proceed, the parties are still married. Reconciliation is still possible," said John Kerr, British ambassador to the EU from 1990 to 1995, per Reuters. Kerr wrote the famous Article 50, which has been triggered in the wake of Britain's vote to exit the European Union. In fact, Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday formally set a date for the withdrawal—11pm on March 29, 2019—and has said there is "no turning back." Not so, says Kerr.

"We can change our minds at any stage during the process," he said, adding that May and other British leaders were misleading the public about what the article does and does not say. "The British people have the right to know." Nothing in it, for example, forbids Britain from holding a second referendum to potentially reverse the original vote, he says, per the Guardian. "I’m not a politician," says Kerr. "I'm just the guy who wrote the treaty telling you what the treaty means." He spoke as a new round of exit negotiations were underway in Brussels. (Read more Brexit stories.)

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