Britain to formally launch European Union exit on March 29

Nick Mcbride
March 21, 2017

An EU spokesman said it was "ready and waiting" for the letter. PM May's spokesman also said that her government had no plans to hold an early general election.

Article 50 of the treaty allows "any European Union member the right to quit unilaterally, and outlines the procedure for doing so". Following the two-year time frame for withdrawal negotiations, it's expected that Brexit will happen in March 2019.

Mrs May is expected to make a statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday shortly after invoking Article 50, setting out her aims.

The UK notified the European Union on Monday of its intention to invoke Article 50 and will now prepare for a lengthy legislative and political program which promises to be anything but clear-cut.

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.

UK-based think tank, the Institute for Government (IFG) in its report, "Legislating Brexit" issued on Sunday, said legislation will be needed to establish new policies on areas such as customs and immigration, the BBC reported.

Tusk has said that that once European Union officials get Britain's notification, they will respond within 48 hours, offering draft negotiating guidelines for the 27 remaining member states to consider.

Mr Tusk has previously said he expects to call an extraordinary summit of the 27 other members within four to six weeks, to draw up a mandate for the European Commission's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier. Under this scenario, talks are likely to begin in earnest in May.

Last month, the United Kingdom finance and leasing industry was warned about the difficulties it will face in the coming years. However, in this version of Brexit there is no deal on customs, meaning customs checks for British imports and exports, there is only a limited free trade deal between Britain and the European Union, meaning tariffs on many goods and services, and there are border checks with the Republic of Ireland.

Jean-Claude Juncker said the United Kingdom faced "the choice to eat what's on the table or not come to the table at all".

The Scottish National Party's Europe spokesperson at Westminster, Stephen Gethins, said: "Today's announcement. shatters beyond fix any notion or position that the Prime Minister is seeking a UK-wide agreement". But May was not able to trigger the talks until last week, when the British Parliament approved a bill authorizing the start of Brexit negotiations.

U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis has said "the first meeting, bluntly, will be about how we do this?"

Amid fears of the impact on jobs and growth of leaving the single market, May is pushing for "maximum possible access" for British companies.

The move will also come just days after European leaders gather in Italy to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which laid the foundations for the EU. May has already announced she will not be attending the event.

Other reports by VgToday

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