UK PM to start Brexit process in March 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May / AFP PHOTO / PRU / PRU /

British Prime Minister Theresa May / AFP PHOTO / PRU / PRU /

The United Kingdom (UK’s) Prime Minister, Mrs. Theresa May, has said that she will formally begin the Brexit process by the end of March 2017.The PM’s announcement on triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty – which begins the formal negotiation process – means the UK looks set to leave the European Union (EU) by the summer of 2019.

According to BBC, Mrs. May also promised a bill to remove the European Communities Act 1972 from the statute book.She said this would make the UK an “independent, sovereign nation”.The repeal of the 1972 Act will not take effect until the UK leaves the EU under Article 50.

It will be contained in a “Great Repeal Bill”, promised in the next Queen’s Speech, which will also enshrine all existing EU law into British law.This will allow the government to seek to keep, amend or cancel any legislation once Brexit has been completed. The repeal bill will also end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK.

Brexit campaigners have been calling for Article 50 – which begins a two-year negotiation process – to be triggered as soon as possible.Mrs. May, who had previously only said she would not trigger it this year, will be making a speech on Brexit later to the Conservative conference, which is getting under way in Birmingham.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, she ended speculation about the government’s timetable, saying this would be done by “the first quarter of 2017”.
May likes to talk about “getting on with it” and that is what today’s announcements are intended to show.

For more than three months since the referendum, she has said little about how she will deliver the vote of the British people.That much-repeated phrase “Brexit means Brexit” sounded increasingly meaningless as the pressure mounted for her to say when, how and on what terms Britain would leave the EU.

Now we have some answers to the first two questions.Article 50 will be triggered by the end of March next year, beginning the formal negotiations with our EU partners, which will have to be completed by the end of March 2019, though the departure date could be later than that.

This will leave the prime minister with just over a year to explain and sell the Brexit arrangements to the public before the next election, which must be held in 2020.

Mrs. May said the process of leaving would be “quite complex” but added that she hoped there would now be “preparatory work” with the remaining EU members so that “once the trigger comes we will have a smoother process of negotiation”.

She added: “It’s not just important for the UK, but important for Europe as a whole that we’re able to do this in the best possible way so we have the least disruption for businesses, and when we leave the EU, we have a smooth transition from the EU.”

The PM also said June’s vote to leave the EU was a “clear message from the British people that they want us to control movement of people coming into the UK”.

Mrs. May and Brexit Secretary, David Davi,s will give more details of the Great Repeal Bill – which Brexit campaigners have been calling for – to conference delegates later.

The move is partly designed to give certainty to businesses and protection for workers’ rights that are part of EU law.The PM told the Marr show it was an “important step”, adding: “What we are doing with the Great Repeal Bill is repealing that European Communities Act.

“That means the UK will be an independent sovereign nation, it will be making its own laws.”Transport secretary, Chris Grayling – the former justice secretary who campaigned for Brexit – said it meant there would be an “evolution not a revolution” in UK law once it leaves the EU.

He gave the example of child benefit being paid to children living overseas as an example of legislation that could be scrapped, while some environmental regulations could be retained.Asked whether the process could take many years to complete, he said: “It will take us as long as we choose it to take.”

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Mrs. Theresa May
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