Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Brexit: Three key things to watch as article 50 is triggered


Nine months after the stunning referendum vote for Brexit, Prime Minister Theresa May's government will finally trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty next week, starting a two-year departure.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk has said he will issue draft Brexit negotiating guidelines to the other member states within 48 hours of the United Kingdom triggering article 50; in other words, before the end of next week.

Keir Starmer MP, Labour's Shadow Brexit Secretary, said, "Britain is about to embark on the most complex and important negotiations since World War II, so this a hugely significant moment for the whole country".

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

The prime minister heads into the European Union negotiations with her premiership, Britain's economy and even the United Kingdom's viability as a unified country all on the line. This week we asked again and found respondents were still on board with the Prime Minister's position on Brexit.

The PM's official spokesman said: "Earlier this morning, the UK Permanent Representative to the European Union informed the office of Donald Tusk that it is the UK's intention to trigger Article 50 on March 29.

The prime minister has confirmed that she will give a statement to parliament as well". But May has so far rejected the call for a new Scottish referendum until after Britain leaves the EU.

But the UK Government also knows that Wales voted to leave, and that means that while there will be disagreements on the nature of the Brexit deal under discussion, it can at least claim to be trying to deliver what most people in Wales voted for.

Although Great Britain's decision to leave the European Union was thrown into political turmoil following a High Court ruling last November, the so-called "Brexit" will move forward next week.

Actual negotiations might not start until June, they added.

The announcement meets May's longstanding commitment to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017.

While this is all well and good, the rosy picture for the government painted by these figures assumes that Theresa May actually achieves the sort of Brexit she wants.

Jean-Claude Juncker thinks Brexit is a bad idea.

Around 67 per cent of Welsh exports go to European Union countries, which is worth £12.3 billion a year to the United Kingdom economy.

Britain and Germany are planning to sign a new defence pact after Theresa May triggers Article 50.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the finance ministers of the 19-country euro currency area, said he wanted "realism" from May's government.

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