United Kingdom: Article 50 Triggered
On Wednesday, March 29, British prime minister Theresa May delivered (via the UK’s EU representative Sir Tim Barrow) a letter to the president of the European Council of EU leaders. The letter formally declared the UK’s intention to withdraw from the European Union in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union. Here is some more information about this event:
- The delivery of the letter means for all practical purposes that the UK will be leaving the EU within the next two years (i.e., that there will be no second Brexit referendum or other UK government effort to potentially stop the Brexit process).
- The letter’s delivery date is the official starting time for the formal Brexit negotiation period, and gives the UK two years (i.e., until the end of March 2019) to withdraw from the EU.
- The letter outlines the approach the UK government will take in its Brexit negotiations with the EU.
- The letter indicates that the UK government will “wherever practical and appropriate … convert” existing EU law into UK law. Any newly proposed UK laws won’t come into effect until after the UK leaves the EU in 2019.
- The letter indicates that if the UK leaves the EU “without an agreement” on trade, and reverts to having to trade on World Trade Organization terms, then the UK’s “cooperation in the fight against crime and terrorism would be weakened.”
- The letter indicates that the UK “does not seek membership of the [EU] single market.”
- The letter indicates the UK’s desire to “begin technical talks on detailed policy areas as soon as possible” while prioritizing “the biggest challenges,” such as regulations that govern financial services.