Mar 21, 2017 (LBO) – The British government plans to formally notify the European Union on March 29 of its intention to leave the bloc, putting the country on track to complete a two-year negotiated exit.
David Davis, the cabinet minister responsible for negotiating the exit, said that Britain would send notice under Article 50 of the European Union’s treaty.
Shortly after the announcement Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said he would present draft guidelines for the British withdrawal to the other 27 member states within 48 hours of Britain formally giving its notice, the New York Times reported.
The Brexit negotiations could conclude before the next elections to the European Parliament in summer 2019 and the next general election in Britain, expected to take place in 2020.
“May now moves on to what promises to be a hideously complex process of disentangling Britain from more than four decades of European integration, and there are concerns that it will be impossible to complete the negotiations within two years.”
British PM Theresa May has prioritized the desire to control immigration and to reject the authority of the European Court of Justice, effectively ruling out membership in the European Union’s customs union and in its single market in goods and many services.
Davis said that he was aiming for “a deal that works for every nation and region of the U.K. and indeed for all of Europe — a new, positive partnership between the U.K. and our friends and allies in the European Union.”
The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, accused the government of “embarking on an extreme and divisive Brexit,” adding that May “has rushed this through without a plan, and without a clue.”