Brexit: Prime Minister will trigger Article 50 on 29 March

20 March, 2017, 23:30 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones left attend a bilateral meeting at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea Wales Monday

Britain hasn't ruled out a payment, but is sure to quibble over the size of the tab.

On the future of Europe, Dr Muscat said that the White Paper presented by the European Commission offered five scenarios for the Union's future.

He added: "Britain is a reliable partner in all global agreements - I have no doubts here". A spokesperson for Downing Street confirmed that the process would commence on March 29, enabling the government to keep to its previously announced deadline of the end of March. Sturgeon says Scotland mustn't be "taken down a path that we do not want to go down without a choice". "It's something we will have to try as an experiment for the first time and it's hard to imagine how long it could take, what it would mean and what the result of it would be". As a result, United Kingdom officials have already approached the World Trade Organization to see what they can do in case they cannot reach a deal within the two-year deadline.

Before negotiations with Britain can actually start, the Council, in the shape of ministers sitting in the General Affairs Council (GAC), must approve the recommendations by issuing legally binding "negotiating directives" to Barnier. Suggestions from the European Union side that this bill could reach €60 billion will be strongly resisted by Britain.

Britons voted in a June referendum to leave the European Union after more than 40 years of membership. If Britain leaves without a transitional deal, it could lead to the immediate imposition of tariffs and other trade barriers.

EU leaders have said they want to conclude the talks within 18 months to allow the terms of the UK's exit to be ratified by the UK Parliament and the European Parliament, as well as approved by the necessary majority of EU states.

Mike Russell said he only found out the Brexit process would formally get under way on March 29 when it was reported in the media.

Merkel said "it makes absolutely no difference whether the notification comes one day earlier, or three or seven days afterward".

He said: "Next Wednesday, the government will deliver on that decision and formally start the process by triggering Article 50".

May succeeded David Cameron soon after the Brexit referendum, but delayed triggering Article 50 to give herself time to work on her strategy.

By the end of next week, after he has received PM May's letter, European Council President Donald Tusk should have distributed draft guidelines for the negotiations to the 27 other national governments.

Talks on departing the prosperous club Britain joined in 1973 are likely to be the most complex London has held since World War Two.

European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Monday that the EU is "ready to begin negotiations". The EU says Britain must pay a hefty divorce bill of up to 60 billion euros ($64 billion), to cover EU staff pensions and other expenses the United Kingdom has committed to.

The British government has insisted 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 European Union.

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