SWANSEA, WALES, UNITED KINGDOM (MARCH 20, 2017) (UK POOL) – Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Britain’s divorce proceedings with the European Union on March 29, launching two years of negotiations that will reshape the future of the country and Europe.
May’s government said her permanent envoy to the EU had informed European Council President Donald Tusk of the date when Britain intends to invoke Article 50 of its Lisbon Treaty – the mechanism for starting its exit after a referendum last June in which Britons voted by a 52-48 percent margin to leave the bloc.
The EU said it was ready to begin the negotiations and within 48 hours of the trigger on March 29, Tusk will send the other 27 member states his draft negotiating guidelines, which means that talks could start in May.
Article 50 allows for two years of talks to decide an EU member state’s divorce terms, “taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union”. May says that clause means the two sides can set out deals to cover future trade and other ties.