In Brief

Brexit: What will happen to Britain's MEPs?

EU referendum result spells the end for the UK's representatives in Brussels – but not just yet

Brexit has become a reality, with 52 per cent of the country voting to leave the European Union. So what happens to Britain's 73 Members of European Parliament (MEPs)?

When will Britain's MEPs leave?

Without a hard timeline in place for Britain's disentanglement from the union, it's impossible to say exactly when the nation's EU parliamentarians will be heading home.

The next MEP elections take place in 2019. There has been no official word on whether Britain's representatives will depart before then, but with a proposed withdrawal period of two years, they will almost certainly not be around to contest their seats.

But for now, it seems the UK's MEPs aren't going anywhere. Despite the political and economic turmoil which has seen the pound plummet and David Cameron resign as prime minister, they are still elected officials with a job to do.

"For the time being, the British MEPs and the British Commissioner should stay," German MEP Alexander Graf Lambsdorff told Euronews. They "are obliged to represent the pan-European interest, not just the British interest," he added.

Labour MEP Richard Corbett predicts the UK's representatives will continue to vote on matters affecting the EU budget while the country is still a contributor, but will abstain on votes concerning the future of the union.

What are British MEPs saying about the results?

Reaction to the referendum results from Britain's MEPs was more diverse than might be expected among a group of people staring unemployment in the face. Many Ukip and Tory representatives openly rejoiced at the prospect of clearing their desks in Brussels.

East of England Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman said he was "stunned and delighted" with the result.

Ukip's David Coburn, one of Scotland's MEPs, was also celebrating the news that he would soon be surplus to requirements.

But other representatives were not taking the news so well. Labour's North-East of England MEP Paul Brannen called the vote a "catastrophic mistake" and warned that the worst is yet to come.

Glenis Willmott, MEP for the East Midlands and Labour leader in the European Parliament, tweeted she was "heartbroken."

Recommended

Quiz of The Week: 21 - 27 May
Rishi Sunak
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week: 21 - 27 May

Why Ukraine is fighting to retake Snake Island
Snake Island
Getting to grips with . . .

Why Ukraine is fighting to retake Snake Island

Blasphemy in Nigeria: a death sentence
Sokoto gate
In Depth

Blasphemy in Nigeria: a death sentence

Why has Hong Kong dropped its Tiananmen memorial?
gettyimages-517198274.jpg
In Depth

Why has Hong Kong dropped its Tiananmen memorial?

Popular articles

A look back at Johnny Depp’s wives and girlfriends
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp
Behind the scenes

A look back at Johnny Depp’s wives and girlfriends

Is Russian President Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Russian President Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard: what has happened so far
Amber Heard
In Depth

Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard: what has happened so far

The Week Footer Banner