UCL European Institute


Legal Opinion on Article 50 extension and the European Parliament elections

28 March 2019


Professor Piet Eeckhout, Dean of UCL Laws and Academic Director of the UCL European Institute, is part of a team of eminment QCs and lawyers who have published a legal opinion on whether the UK would have to participate in the European Parliament elections if Article 50 was extended beyond 22 May. 

Lord Anderson of Ipswich KBE QC, Barrister at Brick Court Chambers and UCL European Institute Advisory Board member, was the lead author of the legal opinion. The other authors were Philip Moser QCMarie Demetriou QCJason Coppel QC and Emma Mockford

In the Opinion (which was written without the intention of advancing any particular solution to Brexit), the authors dismiss concerns that a failure to hold European Parliament elections in the UK could invalidate subsequent EU laws. They examine the application of EU electoral law, and the principle of representative democracy, to a departing member state whose citizens will not be affected by what the European Parliament decides. And they suggest some practical mechanisms, falling short of outright treaty change, by which an extension could be assured without the need for European elections in the UK.

Legal opinion (pdf)