Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
World | By Ernestine Jimenez

Theresa May to trigger Article 50 on 29 March

Theresa May to trigger Article 50 on 29 March

"We want negotiations to start promptly but it's obviously right that the 27 have an opportunity to agree their position".

The divorce process under Article 50 gives a two-year framework for negotiations.

The European Union has yet to set a date for a summit to respond to Britain's notice of withdrawal but it should be between four and six weeks after March 29, the day when Britain will trigger Brexit, an EU source said on Monday.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned that London may have to abandon hopes of a trade deal unless it accepts the terms offered by the European Union, which are widely expected to include a hefty divorce bill.

In Northern Ireland, which also voted to stay in the European Union, the largest Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein has said it wants a referendum on splitting from the United Kingdom and uniting with the Republic of Ireland "as soon as possible".

"I hope for realism on the sequence of things, realism on the price that it is going to cost, realism on the complexity and thus the timespan that will be necessary, because those are the things that I have missed so far from the British side", he said. 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. They include putting issues like continuing working together on issues like security at the core of what we are doing.

The EU is expected to release an initial response to the Article 50 notification within 48 hours. Reports coming out of Brussels noted that deliberations could start only in June.

A majority of Britons voted to leave the European Union at a referendum in June. Article 50 forbids any talk on the terms of departure until formal notification of withdrawal is given.

May has already announced that she will make a statement to the House of Commons shortly after invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants her country to hold a referendum on Scottish independence immediately after Britain's exit from the EU.

Speaking in Swansea on Monday, during the first of a series of visits around the United Kingdom before she triggers Article 50, Mrs May said she was intent on "delivering on Brexit and getting the right deal".

"The legislation required for Brexit will leave little parliamentary time for anything else - and making a success of it will require a large volume of bills and secondary legislation to be passed by Parliament against a hard deadline", the BBC quoted Hannah White, IFG's director of research, as saying.

"So, that takes a big chunk out of the Government's capacity to legislate".

The bill to be introduced later this year will serve the dual goal of repealing the European Communities Act and incorporate more than four decades of EU law into British law.

The extra measures will place "a huge burden" on the Parliament and government departments, the think tank said.

May has said that Britain's House of Commons and Lords will have a vote on the deal she negotiates but she has insisted the United Kingdom will leave anyway even if Parliament rejects that deal.

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

"We are on the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation", Davis said.

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