Bri­tish exit from EU set for 11 pm, March 29, 2019

Fol­low­ing a chaotic week in which Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter May lost two min­is­ters in sep­a­rate scan­dals, she set an ex­act time for Brexit to re-im­pose her au­thor­ity

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Front Page -

BRI­TISH Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May on Fri­day an­nounced that her coun­try will with­draw from the EU on March 29, 2019 at 11 p.m. She also warned anti-Brexit deputies against at­tempts to sab­o­tage the move In a news­pa­per col­umn.

BRI­TISH Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May on Fri­day set an ex­act time for the United King­dom's with­drawal from the Euro­pean Union. May set 11 p.m., March 29, 2019, as the pre­cise hour Bri­tain would end its 46-year mem­ber­ship in the union. De­tails will be set out in an amend­ment to the EU With­drawal Bill that will be ex­am­ined by law­mak­ers next week.

"Let no-one doubt our de­ter­mi­na­tion or ques­tion our re­solve, Brexit is hap­pen­ing," May said. "It will be there in black and white on the front page of this his­toric piece of leg­is­la­tion: The United King­dom will be leav­ing the EU on March 29, 2019, at 11 p.m. GMT," Anadolu Agency (AA) re­ported.

May warned pro-EU deputies that she will not tol­er­ate ef­forts to block Brexit through par­lia­men­tary ma­neu­vers in a col­umn in Fri­day's Daily Tele­graph, as re­ported by Agence France-Presse (AFP).

As Brexit talks re­sumed in Brus­sels, May sought to re-im­pose her au­thor­ity over po­ten­tial rebels fol­low­ing a chaotic week in which she lost two min­is­ters in sep­a­rate scan­dals.

Crucial leg­is­la­tion to put ex­ist­ing EU reg­u­la­tions on the do­mes­tic statute book to avoid le­gal chaos af­ter Brexit is cur­rently work­ing its way through par­lia­ment with many amend­ments al­ready lodged.

"The EU With­drawal Bill is the sin­gle most sig­nif­i­cant piece of leg­is­la­tion in this par­lia­ment be­cause it is fun­da­men­tal to de­liv­er­ing a smooth and or­derly Brexit," May wrote. "Where MPs think they can im­prove the Bill, this gov­ern­ment will lis­ten to them.

"But we will not tol­er­ate at­tempts from any quar­ter to use the process of amend­ments to this bill as a mech­a­nism to try to block the demo­cratic wishes of the Bri­tish peo­ple by at­tempt­ing to slow down or stop our de­par­ture from the Euro­pean Union."

Mean­while, the for­mer Bri­tish am­bas­sador to the Euro­pean Union who helped au­thor Ar­ti­cle 50, the EU's le­gal mech­a­nism for with­drawal, in­sisted on Fri­day that the process could still be re­versed.

"We can change our minds at any stage of the process," John Kerr said at a Lon­don event hosted by the pro-EU Open Bri­tain, adding: "Ac­tu­ally, the coun­try still has a free choice about whether to pro­ceed. As new facts emerge, peo­ple are en­ti­tled to take a dif­fer­ent view. And there's noth­ing in Ar­ti­cle 50 to stop them."

Ever since the ref­er­en­dum, op­po­nents of Bri­tain's exit from French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron and for­mer Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Tony Blair to billionaire in­vestor Ge­orge Soros have sug­gested Bri­tain could change its mind. Anti-Brexit cam­paign­ers ar­gue the ven­ture could in­flict se­ri­ous dam­age on the econ­omy. Euro­pean Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Don­ald Tusk even in­voked John Len­non lyrics to imag­ine a Brexit re­scinded. Thus far, there are few signs of a change of heart on Brexit in opinion polls. Both May's Con­ser­va­tives and the op­po­si­tion Labour now ex­plic­itly sup­port leav­ing the EU, which Bri­tain joined in 1973.

So far, talks have made only in­cre­men­tal progress on cit­i­zens' rights, a fi­nan­cial set­tle­ment and the Ir­ish bor­der, is­sues that the Euro­pean Union wants to make more head­way on, be­fore ne­go­ti­a­tions on a fu­ture re­la­tion­ship, es­pe­cially re­gard­ing trade, can be­gin.

The diplo­mat said that the dead­line was nec­es­sary for the EU side to make sure that the 27 coun­tries have enough time to agree on the text of the de­ci­sion so that it can be adopted by EU lead­ers dur­ing a sum­mit sched­uled for Dec. 14-15.

At the same time var­i­ous me­dia out­lets in Bri­tain and Ire­land re­ported that the EU has raised with Bri­tain the pos­si­bil­ity of North­ern Ire­land be­ing given spe­cial sta­tus and re­main­ing in the cus­toms union and sin­gle mar­ket af­ter Brexit.

EU diplo­mats said such a sta­tus would be in line with the North­ern Ir­ish gov­ern­ment's po­si­tion as well as a res­o­lu­tion by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, which needs to ap­prove any fi­nal agree­ment be­tween the EU and Bri­tain.

While a spe­cial sta­tus for North­ern Ire­land would avoid a hard bor­der for the is­land of Ire­land, it is po­lit­i­cally con­tentious in Bri­tain where May has ruled out re­main­ing in the cus­toms union and the sin­gle mar­ket. Both sides have been meet­ing for the sixth time this week.

Bri­tain, a mem­ber of the EU since 1973, is the first coun­try ever to be­gin pro­ce­dures for leav­ing the bloc af­ter a di­vi­sive ref­er­en­dum that took place on June 23, 2016.

Bri­tain's Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May leaves 10 Down­ing Street in Lon­don, Nov. 1.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Turkey

© PressReader. All rights reserved.