United Kingdom ready to launch Brexit process on March 29

Cornelia Mascio
Marzo 21, 2017

"We are on the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation", said Brexit minister David Davis.

May has since hardened the government's stance - after taking over as prime minister from David Cameron - into a "hard Brexit" which will see the United Kingdom (including Scotland, which voted to remain) leave the single market and end free movement of people.

Several other business organisations such as ICAEW and the Confederation of British Industry said they would be commenting on the Article 50 triggering next week, when the process to leave the European Union official starts.

"We want negotiations to start promptly", said the Prime Minister's offcial spokesman this morning.

The guidelines - a short and broad political document that will outline the principles of the negotiation mandate for the European Union side - are already being prepared by Tusk's office.

It has now been confirmed that Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger the beginning of formal withdrawal talks on March 29.

British in Italy (BiI), together with similar groups in other European Union countries who have formed the coalition British in Europe, plus the3million, the main European Union group in the United Kingdom, has been lobbying hard in London and Rome to demand that citizens who have moved to live on the other side of the Channel should not be penalised once Britain leaves the EU.

"The legislation required for Brexit will leave little parliamentary time for anything else - and making a success of it will require a large volume of bills and secondary legislation to be passed by Parliament against a hard deadline", the BBC quoted Hannah White, IFG's director of research, as saying.

But like any divorce, things may not go to plan. Juncker also presented the idea of Britain paying a divorce fee - between £20bn and £60bn - to even start negotiations. But EU leaders, anxious to avoid encouraging others in the 28-member bloc to split, have said they will not give May an easy ride.

May's tour started in Wales, and will be followed by visits to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

It comes as Mrs May dismissed calls for a second independence referendum for Scotland before the Brexit deal is finalised.

Britain's referendum exposed geographical and social divisions in the country that have deepened over arguments about its future relationship with 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.

There may be other events for May to watch out for - including but not limited to another potential Scottish independence referendum and perhaps an early British election.

The European Parliament also wants a say, and will have to approve the final deal between Britain and the bloc.

"The phony period is almost over, and the real work of negotiations are about to begin", McFadden said.

Conflicts are likely to arise soon.

May has promised Britain will remain a "reliable ally" to the European Union and wants "practical arrangements" on law enforcement and intelligence cooperation.

British negotiators are sure to quibble over the size of that tab. "People are horrified by the chancellor's suggestion of paying the bills that are owed", a cabinet source said.

May suggested Britain could sign up to some aspects of the customs union.

That prospect alarms many British businesses.

Without a new trade agreement, Britain would fall back on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, which could mean higher export tariffs and other barriers.

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