§ Sir Teddy Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the provision under Article IX of the draft European constitution for member states to withdraw from the constitution if no agreement is negotiated within two years would necessarily result in total withdrawal from membership of the EU and obligations under the treaties. 56WS
§ Mr. MacShane
Article I-59 of the draft EU Constitutional Treaty sets out the arrangements under which any member state so desiring could withdraw from the EU. Paragraph 3 statesThe Constitution 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, decides to extend this period.
The provision that the constitution would cease to apply to the member state in question would equate to total withdrawal from the European Union.