UK to trigger Brexit process on March 29

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 21, 2017

The notification of Article 50 will take the form of a letter to Tusk, likely outlining Britain's key objectives, followed by a statement by May to MPs in the House of Commons.

The European Commission said it stood ready to help launch the negotiations. Basically, it gives the United Kingdom two years to negotiate a "withdrawal agreement" with the 27 remaining member states of the EU.

Labour's Keir Starmer said the opposition would hold the government to account throughout the process, claiming the prime minister had failed to provide certainty about her plans or prepare for the "clear dangers" of not reaching a deal at all. She will notify President Tusk in writing.

Britain's Parliament last week gave its final approval to May's Brexit plans, and the prime minister had at one point been expected to trigger Article 50 then.

"I hope for realism on the sequence of things, realism on the price that it is going to cost, realism on the complexity and thus the timespan that will be necessary, because those are the things that I have missed so far from the British side", he said. The draft is broadly ready, based on what May said in a key speech in January, but may need to be fine-tuned, European Union officials say.

She has been vocal that Britain is heading for a "bad deal" on Brexit and apparently wants out.

She will visit Wales with Brexit Secretary David Davis and Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, and will meet First Minister Carwyn Jones as well as business leaders.

The PM's official spokesman said: "Earlier this morning, the UK Permanent Representative to the European Union informed the office of Donald Tusk that it is the UK's intention to trigger Article 50 on March 29".

A Government spokesman said: "This Government will harness the skills and resources across all departments to ensure that the statute book functions effectively on the day we leave - as part of delivering a smooth and orderly Brexit".

The notification of triggering Article 50 of a key European Union treaty will come in the form of a letter delivered to Tusk - though it was unclear whether it would come through an actual letter or an electronic missive.

The Brexit vote in June has prompted nationalists in Scotland and Northern Ireland to call for a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom.

Parliament could be tasked with scrutinising up to 15 new bills to deliver Brexit, leaving little time for other unrelated legislation, the Institute for Government has warned.

Brexit minister David Davis has said there would be no sudden drop in numbers, as it would take years to fill low-skilled jobs in hospitality, social care and agriculture now done by immigrants.

It states that any exit deal must be approved by a "qualified majority" (72% of the remaining 27 European Union states) and must also get the backing of MEPs.

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