ibusinesslines.com March 24, 2017

Britain's Theresa May to trigger Brexit on March 29

21 March 2017, 01:52 | Kelvin Horton

Image Caption There will be little time for non Brexit legislation the report warns

The official plan for Brexit is laid out in an official Government document

Keir Starmer MP, Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary, said, "Britain is about to embark on the most complex and important negotiations since World War II, so this a hugely significant moment for the whole country". All that is happening is that Britain is following the terms set down in the Lisbon Treaty to trigger formal exit talks.

Prime Minister Theresa May had already pre-announced the action back in October.

But formal talks between London and Brussels are not expected to start for six to eight weeks, according to European Union sources, and possibly later while waiting for the result of German elections in September.

The BBC's Ben Wright said he expected the Article 50 letter to be short, possibly extending to two pages at most, and for Mrs May to use it to publicly reiterate her general objectives - such as leaving the single market but reaching a mutually beneficial agreement on trade and other issues.

The Government lost its case at the Supreme Court in January, meaning that triggering Article 50 had to receive approval from Parliament.

Last year's referendum result, she added, "was not just about leaving the EU" but was a vote for a "change in the way the country works".

"The government is clear in its aims: a deal that works for every nation and region of the United Kingdom and indeed for all of Europe - a new, positive partnership between the United Kingdom and our friends and allies in the European Union", Davis added.

The process will give a negotiating mandate to the EU's executive arm, the European Commission, with chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier going ahead with the process of scheduling talks with his British counterpart, Brexit minister David Davis. Under this scenario, talks are likely to begin in earnest in May.

By the end of next week, after he has received May's letter, European Council President Donald Tusk should have distributed draft guidelines for the negotiations to the 27 other national governments.

Bill Cash, chair of the European Scrutiny Committee, said it would be a useful point to make given "Germany's extremely dominant role in the European Union" and insisted that "we really don't owe anything to the European Union".

For the EU, the focus will be on ensuring there is no easy ride for the British as it tries to safeguard the stability and the commitment of its 27 remaining member states to the postwar project of deepening economic and political union.

With disagreement between the United Kingdom and the EU already evident on such issues as Britain's financial commitments, the structure of the talks themselves and how much a future trade deal can be wrapped up inside two years, European policy makers warned the British government that it must have realistic expectations as it leaps into the unknown.

"The taoiseach has previously expressed impatience over the lack of clarity from Britain on Brexit", said Mr Adams.

A transitional deal for about five years is certainly an option.

Up to early 2019, Britain will remain a full European Union member and nothing will change beyond the exclusion of its representatives from some European Union meetings where the approach of the remaining 27 to Brexit is discussed.

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