Published: Tue, March 21, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

UK PM Theresa May to trigger Brexit on March 29

UK PM Theresa May to trigger Brexit on March 29

Negotiations will begin to outline a UK Brexit deal, which could include trade deals - although this might be handled separately. A Downing Street spokesman said UK Ambassador to the EU Sir Tim Barrow had informed the President's office of May's intention verbally.

The notification of triggering Article 50 will come in the form of a letter delivered to Tusk next week, which will likely plunge Britain into a period of intense uncertainty.

However, beyond the likelihood that it will express the desire to reach a deal with the European Union, it is unlikely to give too many hints on Britain's negotiating stance.

The triggering of the Lisbon Treaty comes nine months after Britain voted out of the European Union 51.9% to 48.9%. The government has previously stated it would trigger Article 50 by the end of the month.

A response from the group is expected in around 48 hours after the UK's notification, according to European Commission negotiator Michel Barnier.

On the EU side of things the European Commission will lead negotiations, but the final agreement will require consent from European Parliament, which consists of hundreds of MEPs from every member of the EU.

Monday's announcement comes just days before the European Union celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome which created the bloc.

"We want negotiations to start promptly", he said.

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The UK will have "the choice to eat what's on the table or not come to the table at all", Mr Juncker told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Last week the Brexit Bill passed successfully through Parliament unamended, after MPs made a decision to vote down amendments to the legislation.

These terms may include a £50bn ($NZ87.5bn) "divorce bill" and Mr Juncker said Brexit could bring the remaining 27 members closer together: "They will all see from the UK's example that leaving the European Union is a bad idea". This was approved by Parliament two weeks ago when the Brexit bill was passed, giving the prime minister the power to get the procedure started.

There is speculation that May could also try to trigger an election in the United Kingdom, in the hope of winning a bigger majority in Parliament and her own mandate to strengthen her hand at home and in the Brexit talks.

Her aim is to enforce a message of unity in the wake of Scotland demanding a second referendum over its independence from the United Kingdom.

Keir Starmer MP, Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary, said that Labour would hold the PM to account "all the way". Britain is now more divided at home and isolated overseas.

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to make a full statement to MPs in the House of Commons immediately after the triggering of the Article 50 next Wednesday.

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