Jueves, 23 Marcha, 2017

The clock begins: Britain to start European Union exit on March 29

Man dressed in a Union Jack suit waving Union Jacks Stop the whingeing and fly the flag
Manuel Armenta | 21 Marcha, 2017, 01:24

Stocks trimmed losses and eventually swung higher after the United Kingdom government said British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50 on March 29 to begin the process of leaving the European Union, known as British exit or Brexit.

Sir Tim Barrow, the UK's chief permanent representative to the EU, has informed European Council President Donald Tusk's office of the move.

Notification comes 279 days after the referendum of June 23 previous year delivered a 52%-48% majority in favour of withdrawal.

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

British trade officials are discreetly exploring a 10-year interim arrangement with the European Union in case a trade deal is not reached during Britain's exit negotiations, writes Politico.

May has already conceded Britain will have to quit the single market for goods and services-accounting for about 44% of its exports-to avoid being bound by European court rulings and the free movement of migrants.

The EU 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, an EU source said on Monday.

"The [EU-27 leaders] understood that their strongest chip is time pressure", said one of the principal figures involved in EU Brexit preparations.

He told the Commons Brexit committee: "We will be having conversations with them beforehand". If she can't secure an agreement, Britain will crash out of the European Union and over what businesses call a "cliff edge" of uncertainty and higher trade tariffs. A response from the group is expected in around 48 hours after the UK's notification, according to European Commission negotiator Michel Barnier.

The Supreme Court ruled in January that May's government must obtain approval from the British parliament to trigger Article 50, prompting the introduction of emergency legislation.

The Brexit vote in June has prompted nationalists in Scotland and Northern Ireland to call for a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom.

"They will all see from the UK's example that leaving the European Union is a bad idea", Juncker said. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said a "vast" bill is unreasonable, and suggested that May should follow the "illustrious precedent" of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who successfully sought a rebate from the bloc in 1984.

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.

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.

The developments come as an independent think tank warned today that up to 15 new bills could be needed to deliver Brexit.