May sets dead­line to trig­ger exit

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

UK Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May has said Bri­tain will trig­ger the for­mal process for leav­ing the Euro­pean Union be­fore April, putting to rest weeks of spec­u­la­tion on the tim­ing of the move.

May con­firmed her plans in an in­ter­view with the BBC ahead of a speech at her Con­ser­va­tive Party’s an­nual con­fer­ence in Birm­ing­ham.

“I will be say­ing in my speech to­day that we will trig­ger be­fore the end of March next year,” she said yes­ter­day.

While the prime min­is­ter pre­vi­ously had hinted she planned to ini­ti­ate Bri­tain’s EU exit early next year, many ob­servers had spec­u­lated she would wait un­til France’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion ends in May.

Bri­tain voted in a June ref­er­en­dum to leave the EU, but has not for­mally no­ti­fied the bloc of its in­ten­tions by invoking the ar­ti­cle of the EU treaty that would trig­ger ne­go­ti­a­tions. Do­ing so will launch two years of talks to work out the de­tails of Bri­tain’s fu­ture re­la­tion­ship with the sin­gle mar­ket. While the two-year timetable is man­dated by the EU treaty, it can be ex­tended by a unan­i­mous vote of the re­main­ing mem­bers of the bloc. The prime min­is­ter also said she would ask Par­lia­ment to re­peal the Euro­pean Com­mu­ni­ties Act, which au­to­mat­i­cally makes EU rules the law of the land in Bri­tain. May said her gov­ern­ment in­stead would in­cor­po­rate all EU laws into British law then re­peal mea­sures as nec­es­sary on a case-by-case ba­sis. “That means that the United King­dom will be an in­de­pen­dent, sov­er­eign na­tion,” she said. “It will be mak­ing its own laws.” May said that by of­fer­ing a timetable now, she hopes to en­cour­age the two sides to en­gage in pre­lim­i­nary work that would help the ne­go­ti­a­tions go smoothly once they be­gin. EU lead­ers so far have re­jected any such dis­cus­sions. One of the big­gest stick­ing points in any talks will be im­mi­gra­tion. The free move­ment of labour is a found­ing prin­ci­ple of the union.

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