Pound Retreats As UK PM To Invoke Article 50 On Wednesday

  • Pound Retreats As UK PM To Invoke Article 50 On Wednesday

Pound Retreats As UK PM To Invoke Article 50 On Wednesday

Britain's ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow, informed European Council President Donald Tusk on Monday about the date when the United Kingdom intends to invoke Article 50 of the EU Treaty, the mechanism for starting the Brexit process.

The BBC's Ben Wright said he expected the Article 50 letter to be short, possibly extending to two pages at most, and for Mrs May to use it to publicly reiterate her general objectives - such as leaving the single market but reaching a mutually beneficial agreement on trade and other issues.

Due to trigger Article 50, her office has said May will be visiting Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to hear the government's differing views on Brexit.

A Government spokesman said: "This Government will harness the skills and resources across all departments to ensure that the statute book functions effectively on the day we leave - as part of delivering a smooth and orderly Brexit".

A spokesman for the European Commission said: "Everything is ready on this side".

The remaining 27 leaders are also expected to call an extraordinary summit within four to six weeks to give a mandate for European Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier, with talks probably beginning in earnest in May or June.

Notification comes 279 days after the referendum of June 23 a year ago delivered a 52 to 48 per cent majority in favour of withdrawal.

But such negotiations will be complex and the two-year deadline might not be enough.

"Theresa May has repeatedly said that she wants to build a national consensus on Brexit, but it is increasingly clear she has failed to do so".

A spokesman said the government wants negotiations to start as soon as possible but added that they "fully appreciate it is right that the other 27 European Union states have time to agree their position".

The UK expects to receive a response to Barrow's notification from the EU Council within 48 hours, he added.

"We said it would be by the end of March and thought it would be helpful to say when it will happen".

"Last June, the people of the United Kingdom made the historic decision to leave the EU".

Tusk will receive another letter from May on Wednesday next week to invoke Article 50 before she provides a statement to MPs in Parliament. It stipulates that the two sides now have until March 2019 to agree on a divorce settlement and - if possible - establish a new relationship between Britain, the world's No 5 economy, and the European Union, a vast single market containing 500 million people.

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

The government has indicated that Britain could make contributions to the European Union budget to ensure trade access.

With nationalism and anti-establishment, anti-immigrant sentiment spreading across Western Europe, the European Union leadership in Brussels is anxious to avoid encouraging others in the 28-member bloc to bolt.