Theresa May vows to 'negotiate hard' as Article 50 date set

Ms Merkel failed to satisfy the US President with her pledge to lift spending defence spending

Ms Merkel failed to satisfy the US President with her pledge to lift spending defence spending. Twitter

The British government said on Monday that it meant to formally notify the European Union of its intention to leave the bloc on March 29, putting the country on track to complete a withdrawal by early 2019.

May will trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, which begins the two-year withdrawal process, on March 29.

March 29-31 - Within 48 hours, Tusk sends to the 27 other member states his draft negotiating guidelines.

The UK can complete the negotiations for a new trading relationship with the EU inside the two-year Brexit timetable since UK and EU trading regulations are already in complete convergence, Sir Tim Barrow, the new UK envoy to the EU, has said.

Downing Street said in London the tour was part of a series of visits around Britain to enable the prime minister to engage and listen to people from across the nation as it prepares to leave the EU.

Both Barrow and Brexit minister David Jones pointed out that the chief European Union negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the entire talks could be completed inside 18 months to give time for the necessary democratic authorisation to be agreed.

Davis said ministers would seek a Brexit deal "that works for every nation and region of the United Kingdom and indeed for all of Europe -- a new, positive partnership between the United Kingdom and our friends and allies in the European Union". If the rest of the European Union agrees, the two-year negotiating period can be extended, with Britain still in the EU.

French diplomat Michel Barnier is the chief negotiator for the European Commission, the bloc's executive arm.

Speaking to the press in Brussels, the Irish finance minister Michael Noonan said negotiations would not get underway for two months following the Article 50 triggering.

He will also summon the leaders of the countries for a summit to endorse the final guidelines, expected in early May.

The historic start of the process, 44 years after the United Kingdom joined the EEC in 1973, will trigger a two-year countdown for negotiations over the exit terms and any interim trade deal. Indeed, the word "negotiation" seemed more generous than what he has in mind. There was no further detail about exactly what the letter would say at this point.

Talks over trade will be especially delicate. That she doesn't have a Plan B. And what does the European Union do to Prime Ministers who don't have a Plan B?

European Union officials have previously said that a notification just before May's self-imposed end-March deadline could mean a summit in early May was the most likely timing. Former British ambassador to the EU John Kerr, who wrote Article 50, says "it is not irrevocable". Such a transitional deal would allay fears about an impending cliff edge in March 2019, when Britain is set to crash out of the single market and face the EU's steep external tariffs on goods ranging from meat to cars.

She was cleared to take the step when the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act gained royal assent last week, after a Supreme Court ruling forced her to seek the approval of both Houses of Parliament.

Mr. Davis also said that an assessment of the impact a no-deal situation had been anyhow carried out during the referendum campaign, but he added that he thinks that "one of the issues that's arisen is that those forecasts don't appear to have exactly been very robust since then".

Latest News