Sterling flips lower after United Kingdom sets Brexit talks trigger date

Nick Mcbride
March 21, 2017

The prime minister will meet First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones, as well as local businesses, as she tries to show she is including all areas of Britain in negotiations with the EU.

That letter next Wednesday will start the clock ticking on a two-year countdown to Brexit and allow negotiations to start between London and Brussels in the coming weeks.

Ireland's interests are best served by a smooth negotiating process, a transitional deal for trade after 2019 - before a final agreement is reached - and a final deal which allows trade to continue as freely as possible in the long term.

Mrs May has said MPs and peers will have a vote on the deal she negotiates but she has insisted the United Kingdom will leave anyway even if Parliament rejects it. They include putting issues like continuing working together on issues like security at the core of what we are doing.

A No 10 spokesman said the UK's Ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow, informed the European Council, headed by President Donald Tusk, earlier on Monday of the date that Article 50 would be triggered.

Brexit Minister David Davis said the withdrawal process will take Britain to "the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation".

"I have also been clear that as we leave the European Union I will work to deliver a deal that works for the whole of the UK".

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.

Talks over trade will be especially delicate.

European Union negotiators are expected to present Theresa May with a bill as high as £50bn - for outstanding liabilities - and refuse to discuss a trade deal until Britain has agreed to pay up, at least in principle.

The UK will have "the choice to eat what's on the table or not come to the table at all", Mr Juncker told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Last week Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that she plans to push for a second Scottish referendum, despite May saying it was not the right time.

"I want to be clear that a "no deal scenario" would be bad for everyone, but above all for the United Kingdom, because it would leave a number of issues unresolved".

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.

"It has failed to provide clarity about its intentions and it has been reckless about the costs of leaving without securing a deal".

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".

Other reports by VgToday

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