Britain to trigger Article 50 by end of March 2017

Posted By: October 02, 2016

RTE. Sunday , October 2, 2016

A timeline has been put in place for Britain’s formal exit from the European Union.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced in an interview on the BBC that Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty would be triggered before the end of March 2017.

Article 50 sets a maximum two-year clock ticking until a country’s departure from the 28-member bloc.

The process can be extended beyond two years with unanimous agreement, but that prospect is seen as unlikely.

Ms. May had come under pressure to provide more details of her Brexit plans since Britons voted to end their 43-year membership of the EU earlier this year.

The Conservative Party leader said she would give further details during her speech at the ruling party’s annual conference in Birmingham this afternoon.

She also said the British government is talking to businesses to establish what sort of deal they want from the Brexit negotiations.

When asked how important it was for UK businesses to have tariff-free access to the EU single market, she replied: “I want the right deal for trade in goods and services.

“What we are doing at the moment, what (Brexit minister) David Davis and his department are doing, is listening to businesses here in the UK, listening to different sectors,finding out what it is that is most important to them,” she added.

‘Great Repeal Bill’ to enshrine EU legislation

Earlier, she announced a “Great Repeal Bill” would be put in place to end the authority of EU law once Britain leaves the union.

The legislation will overturn laws that make EU regulations supreme, enshrine all EU rules in domestic law and confirm the British parliament can amend them as it wants.

“This marks the first stage in the UK becoming a sovereign and independent country once again,” Ms May told The Sunday Times newspaper.

“It will return power and authority to the elected institutions of our country. It means that the authority of EU law in Britain will end.”

Chris Grayling, Britain’s transport minister, indicated this act will go through parliament between March of next year and May 2018.