Britain Will Once Again Be An Island

A man takes a copy of the London Evening Standard with the front page reporting the resignation of British Prime Minister Dav
A man takes a copy of the London Evening Standard with the front page reporting the resignation of British Prime Minister David Cameron and the vote to leave the EU in a referendum, showing a pictured of Cameron holding hands with his wife Samantha as they come out from 10 Downing Street, in London on June 24, 2016. Britain voted to break away from the European Union on June 24, toppling Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing a thunderous blow to the 60-year-old bloc that sent world markets plunging. / AFP / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

British voters have decided. The UK must now face the the consequences and promptly notify the European Council of its request for withdrawal from the EU in accordance with Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty [1].

The withdrawal and the negotiations on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union are two different and distinct things. Under the terms of the treaty, the UK's withdrawal from the European Union must take place in the next two years. The future of the UK's relationship with the Union can only be discussed after that withdrawal takes place; that will take much longer. We cannot link these two negotiation processes. It would be suicidal, and would consume all of Europe's energy.

It is time for an overhaul, both in the EU and in the Eurozone.

The departure of the United Kingdom is a loss for the Union. It's the symbol of a Europe in crisis. It is the failure of a Europe dedicated exclusively to the domestic market. The time has come for an overhaul, to reconnect the EU with its original purpose: to ensure democracy and respect for values, prosperity, freedom and peace through solidarity.

The Union must answer the question of why we are together in the first place: this referendum will be used by all those who wish to reinstate national borders and leave the Union. Let's be clear: the EU allows its member states to raise their voices in the world today. It helps set social and environmental standards in negotiations with China and the United States. It provides a defense against modern threats, between the two major military powers of Russia and the United States. It fights effectively against terrorism and tax evasion, which are inherently transnational problems.

We therefore put out a plea: it is time for an overhaul, both in the EU and in the Eurozone. The bloc must work together on migration, defense, security, energy and digital transition; in the Eurozone, we have to achieve true social and fiscal convergence. Paris, Berlin and Rome must work with their partners to create a Eurozone budget and the institutions to go with it, to meet the key priorities of employment and investment.

For this, Europe must also find democratic legitimacy; this will be at the heart of the elections in 2017. We are convinced that Europe will once again become the essential tool to defend our values and build a European sovereignty to jointly cope with the challenges and threats of the twenty-first century.

Complete list of signatures:

Eric Andrieu

Guillaume Balas

Pervenche Berès

Jean-Paul Denanot

Sylvie Guillaume

Louis-Joseph Manscour

Edouard Martin

Emmanuel Maurel

Gilles Pargneaux

Vincent Peillon

Christine Revault d'Allonnes-Bonnefoy

Virginie Rozière

Isabelle Thomas

[1] Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties 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, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

This post first appeared on HuffPost France. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.