Theresa May has stated her intention to trigger Article 50 on March 29, but what exactly will happen when Brexit formally starts this Wednesday?
Here’s a quick and easy explanation of the key points.
Implementing The Article 50 Notification
The Prime Minister’s draft of Article 50 is fairly simple, all she needs to do is put into writing the UK’s intention to leave the European Union. This is then delivered to the President Of The European Council.
The formal notification is based upon Article 50 of EU law, it is the starting point to leave and start the two-year exit terms negotiation process.
Posting The Article 50 Notification
Once the notification is finalised, the Prime Minister could simply email it to the European Council President.
However, with a moment of this magnitude, the choice of delivery seems more likely to be a letter to Brussels.
The EU’s Reaction Upon Receiving Article 50
European Council President Donald Tusk has tweeted “Within 48 hours of the UK triggering Article 50, I will present the draft #Brexit guidelines to the EU27 Member States.”
The EU Parliament will then meet in early April to state their views on the process and negotiations.
The European Union leaders are then set to meet on April 29 to discuss the UK’s Article 50 trigger and to decide the key negotiation points.
The Exit Countdown Begins
As soon as Article 50 is triggered, a two-year countdown begins to when the UK will cease to be an EU member.
The UK / EU negotiations must be concluded in this period – although agreement could be struck to extend negotiations if all 27 EU countries deem it necessary.
The Formalising Of Negotiation Points
Following the meeting of EU leaders, several months are likely to pass before formal negotiations begin between the EU and UK. The final EU leader summit is currently scheduled for June 22, where the negotiation process will be agreed upon.
This negotiation mandate will then be handed to the EU’s “Task Force 50” in early September. They’ll be responsible for the negotiating.
The Negotiation Process
Given the current timeframe, real negotiations won’t be underway until towards the end of 2017. That then gives a little over a year and a bit to finalise the Brexit before the March 29 2019 deadline.
Some commentators have predicted the process could take years, so an extension to the negotiation period could be possible. That could mean Brexit takes much longer.
The UK’s Actual Exit
Despite triggering Article 50, it doesn’t mean the UK will instantly stop being a member of the European Union.
In fact, they’ll remain EU members for the entire two-year negotiation process. Once the negotiations have concluded on March 29 2019, only then will the UK cease to be an EU member. If the negotiations don’t conclude in time, an extension will have to be agreed upon.
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