May to trigger Brexit on March 29

31 March, 2017, 00:29 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Sadiq Khan and Ruth Lea

Her decision over the timing was relayed yesterday to the Council President, Donald Tusk, by Britain's ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow.

The Prime Minister's letter officially notifying the European Council of the UK's intention to quit under Article 50 of the EU treaties will set in train a two-year negotiation process expected to lead to Britain leaving the EU on March 29 2019.

Tusk said that meeting would strive to achieve "certainty, clarity for all: citizens, companies and member states".

But lawmakers have warned that her government must prepare for the risk they might fail - and for Britain to crash out of the European Union with no agreement in place.

Despite ministers warning that no deal is better than a bad deal, the Lords EU Internal Market Committee has warned of the risk of "serious harm" to Britain's non-financial service sector if the United Kingdom fails to hammer out a trade agreement with Brussels.

The Supreme Court ruled in January that May's government must obtain approval from the British parliament to trigger Article 50, prompting the introduction of emergency legislation.

Chief secretary to the Treasury David Gauke will preside over the Brexit liabilities which are asked for by the European Union once the negotiations begin.

But while Britain is keen to secure a free trade trade deal with the EU as part of the exit negotiation process, the European Council insists it won't discuss any such trade relationship until the United Kingdom agrees to an expensive separation fee.

Britain's Brexit Minister David Davis said that Britons had approved a "historic decision" to leave the European Union after four decades of membership.


The committee's report is entitled Brexit: justice for families, individuals and businesses? .

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party accepted the Prime Minister had a mandate to start the process of leaving the EU.

European airports on Tuesday called on Britain and the EU to agree a back-up plan for post-Brexit flying should they fail to agree a new relationship before Britain quits the bloc, saying a return to decades-old traffic rights deals should be avoided.

But Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, who is demanding a second referendum on when May agrees terms with the European Union, said: "Theresa May is embarking on an extreme and divisive Brexit".

There was no further detail about exactly what the letter would say at this point.

"No change in our position; we intend and expect to achieve this within a two-year timetable", he said.

Sky News reported last week than the Lords report said: "The UK's long-term prosperity after Brexit relies on safeguarding UK-EU trade in goods".

Mr Barnier said he hoped to begin the process of ratification by the European Parliament by October 2018.

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