“These soon-to-be MEPs could argue that the treaties ensure them a term of five years, not less, and require to start their position as soon as July 2, when the new European Parliament will be sitting for the first time (and not whenever the U.K. leaves),” Alemmano said.
“On the other hand, ‘temporarily’ elected British MEPs could invoke the same provision to stay after the UK’s withdrawal. This would lead the new European Parliament to have a record number of 778 MEPs,” the law professor also said, pointing to another breach of European rules.
Legal implications aside, there are also political consequences of delaying the U.K.’s departure beyond the month of May.
U.K. voters could have a strong say on who is the biggest political force at the European Parliament — ultimately influencing the direction of futures decisions.
“It’s not easy to explain to the French, to the Polish, to the Austrian citizens that again the country who is leaving the EU will have a major say in the future decision-making process of the EU. That is a political challenge ahead,” Manfred Weber, the head of the conservative party at the European Parliament, told CNBC last week in an exclusive interview.