Britain's departure from the European Union (EU) could paralyse law-making in Brussels for at least 5 years.
Brexit may now not happen before October 31st, after European leaders agreed last week to allow more time for Prime Minister Theresa May and the U.K.'s parliament to sort out the country's exit from the EU. But if current divergences in London over Brexit are not solved by May 22, then Britain will have to take part in European Parliamentary elections — opening unprecedented legal and political challenges to the EU.
Holding EU elections in the U.K. is set to fatally affect the good functioning of the next European Parliament (the EU's legislative arm) – as well as the entire Union – for the five years to come, two European law experts told CNBC in emailed remarks.
Not only the British participation in the elections is set to distort the new political balance emerging within the new Parliament, but also to irremediably tarnish the validity of the Parliament's future decisions, Alberto Alemanno, Professor of EU law at HEC Paris, and Benjamin Bodson, researcher in EU law at UCLouvain said.
European citizens elect new lawmakers to the European Parliament every five years. Following the U.K.'s request to exit the union in 2017, the European chamber has prepared for the fact that 73 British members of the European Parliament would not be taking their seats.