Article 50 will be triggered on March 29 – Business Insider

Theresa May
Prime Minister Theresa May after delivering a speech on leaving
the European Union at Lancaster House in London on January


LONDON — Article 50, the formal notification of Britain’s
intention to leave the European Union, will be triggered March
29, a Downing Street representative said on Monday morning.

The notification will take the form of a letter addressed to
Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council.

The UK government told Tusk at 10:30 a.m. GMT (6:30 a.m. ET) on

“The EU’s permanent representative to the EU informed the office
of Donald Tusk that it’s the UK’s intention to trigger Article 50
on March 29,” a representative for Prime Minister Theresa May

“There will be a letter and she will notify President Tusk in
writing. That process is set out in Article 50 herself. The prime
minister has confirmed that she will give a statement to
Parliament as well.”

The person added that Downing Street expected a response from the
EU up to 48 hours afterward and hoped that divorce negotiations
with the 28-nation bloc could get underway as soon as possible.

“After we trigger,” the person said, the 27 other EU countries
“will agree their guidelines for negotiations and the
Commission’s negotiating mandate.”

“President Tusk has said he expects there to be an initial
response within 48 hours,” the person continued. “We want
negotiations to start promptly, but it’s obviously right that the
27 have an opportunity to consider their position.”

The European Commission responded by saying “everything is ready
on this side,” adding that it was “waiting for notification,”
while Tusk tweeted that he would present the EU’s draft Brexit
plan to member states within 48 hours of the triggering of
Article 50.

Reacting to the news, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron accused
May of leading the country into Brexit “without a plan” and
“without a clue.”

Farron, who wants a second referendum on Britain’s EU membership,
said: “Theresa May is embarking on an extreme and divisive
Brexit. She has rushed this through without a plan, and without a

He added: “She has chosen the hardest and most divisive form of
Brexit, choosing to take us out of the Single Market before she
has even tried to negotiate. That’s why we believe the people
should have the final say over the Conservative Brexit

“Membership of the Single Market is vital for the British economy
and for the jobs of millions of British people. Leaving the
Single Market was not on the ballot paper in the referendum, it
is a political choice made by Theresa May.”

The pound dropped by about 0.1% within an hour after
Downing Street made the announcement.

No snap election

Downing Street also
ruled out an early general election
in advance of Brexit or

“There is no change in our position on an early general
election,” May’s representative said. “There isn’t going to be
one. It’s not going to happen.

“We have been clear there is not going to be an early general
election, and the prime minister is getting on with delivering
the will of the British people.”

This is a developing story.


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