Article 50 will be triggered on March 29 – Business Insider
LONDON — Article 50, the formal notification of Britain’s
intention to leave the EU, will be triggered on March 29, a
Downing Street spokesperson confirmed on Monday morning.
The notification will take the form of a letter addressed to
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.
The UK government informed Tusk at 10:30 a.m. (GMT) on Monday
“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 spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May said.
“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 spokesperson added that Downing Street expects a response
from EU up to 48 hours afterwards and hopes that divorce
negotiations with the 28-nation bloc can get underway as soon as
“After we trigger 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.
“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… we are waiting for notification” while Tusk
tweeted that he’ll present the EU’s draft Brexit plan to member
states within 48 hours of Article being triggered.
Reacting to the news, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron accused
Prime Minister May of leading the country into Brexit “with a
plan and without a clue” of what she is doing.
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 around 0.1% within an hour of
Downing Street making 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.
There isn’t going to be one,” The PM’s spokesperson
said. 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.”