British Government Says It Will Trigger EU Exit Procedure March 29

Nick Mcbride
March 21, 2017

A spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on March 20 that the British government has informed European Council President Donald Tusk's office of its intention to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal notification of a member's intention to leave the EU.

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. Within 48 hours of the trigger date, Tusk will send the other 27 member states his draft negotiating guidelines. During this time, the United Kingdom will still be part of the union; EU laws will still apply here.

On the EU side of things the European Commission will lead negotiations, but the final agreement will require consent from European Parliament, which consists of hundreds of MEPs from every member of the EU.

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

Talks on departing the prosperous club Britain joined in 1973 are likely to be the most complex London has held since World War Two, with other European Union leaders saying they will not give May an easy ride.

Triggering Article 50 is required to start the process of leaving the European Union, although the negotiations could stretch out over years.

The British government says the Brexit process is irreversible once Article 50 is triggered, although experts have said there is no legal ban on member states changing their minds before they have actually left the EU.

The prime minister is expected to visit Scotland before triggering Article 50, as part of a tour of Britain that began on Monday in Wales and will also take in Northern Ireland.

Other reports by VgToday

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