Today the formal procedure for withdrawing starts, putting the UK on course to leave the EU by 31 March 2019 at the latest.
In October 2016 the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced that the government would trigger Article 50 by « the first quarter of 2017 ». She signed the letter invoking Article 50 on 28 March 2017, for delivery by Tim Barrow. The letter was delivered to the UK’s ambassador to the EU, to Donald Tusk. Theresa May, who became Prime Minister after the referendum, has announced a 12-point plan of negotiating objectives. As well, she has promised a bill to repeal the European Communities Act and incorporate existing EU laws into UK domestic law.
So, UK policy was stated in a white paper (an authoritative report or guide that informs readers concisely) published in February 2017: The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union. In this white paper, UK negotiating policy was set out as twelve guiding principles:
1 Providing certainty and clarity, including a ‘Great Repeal Bill’ to remove the European Communities Act 1972 from the statute book and convert existing EU law into domestic law.
2 Taking control of the UK statute book and ending the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the UK.
3 Strengthening the Union of all parts of the Kingdom, and remaining fully committed to the Belfast Agreement and its successors.
4 Working to deliver a practical solution that allows for the maintenance of the Common Travel Area whilst protecting the integrity of the UK immigration system, and which protects the strong ties with Ireland.
5 Controlling the number of EU nationals coming to the UK.
6 Securing the status of EU citizens who are already living in the UK, and that of UK nationals in other Member States.
7 Protecting and enhancing existing workers’ rights.
8 Forging a new partnership with the EU, including a wide reaching free trade agreement, and seeking a mutually beneficial new custom agreement with the EU.
9 Forging free trade relationships across the world.
10 Remaining at the vanguard of science and innovation and seeking continued close collaboration with the UK’s European partners.
11 Continuing to work with the EU to preserve European security, to fight terrorism, and to uphold justice across Europe.
12 Seeking a phased process of implementation, in which both the UK and the EU institutions and the remaining EU Member States prepare for the new arrangements.
Article 50, which U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will formally trigger to begin exit negotiations, is under the spotlight now.
But Britain’s post-Brexit future will be shaped by another provision of the EU treaties: Article 218. While Article 50 governs a member state’s departure, Article 218 describes how the EU makes agreements with “third countries or international organizations”. Once Britain returns to the third country status, an agreement on the future relationship between the U.K. and the EU can only be brokered under Article 218.
As consequences of Brexit the EU would lose its second-largest economy, the country with the third-largest population and the financial centre of the world. Furthermore, the EU would lose its second-largest net contributor to the EU budget (2015: Germany €14.3 billion, United Kingdom €11.5 billion, France €5.5 billion) and its strongest military power.
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