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Theresa May will trigger Article 50 on 29 March 2017

  • Ireland
  • General

22-03-2017

On Monday, the UK Government announced that it intends to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on 29 March 2017. Theresa May is expected to issue a letter formally declaring Britain’s intention to leave the EU. The letter from the British Prime Minister is expected to outline the exit deal Britain hopes to negotiate.

European Council president Donald Tusk, has said that he would respond within 48 hours of receiving notice of the UK’s intention to leave the bloc, with draft guidelines for how the Brexit negotiations will work.

The remaining 27 EU leaders are due to meet at a European Council special summit meeting on 29 April 2017 to approve these Brexit guidelines, with officials spending the next few weeks formulating a detailed negotiating mandate for the European Commission. The negotiations themselves between the UK and the EU are expected to begin in June of this year.

British Brexit secretary David Davis, who will lead Britain’s negotiating team, had said that he hoped to agree a deal that would benefit both Britain and Europe.

The first potentially contentious issue on the agenda of negotiations will be the price Britain must pay to “buy itself out” of existing EU commitments. Suggestions from the EU that this bill could reach €60 billion will be strongly resisted by Britain. Another crucial point in negotiations will be the required time periods necessary to agree a trade deal between the UK and EU. Britain had said that it hoped a trade deal could be agreed during the two year period when the exit talks were being finalised. If no trade deal is agreed before the expiration of this two year period, Britain could face tariffs and other trade barriers which would have a significant impact on Ireland.
Speaking in Brussels on Monday, Irish Minister for Finance Michael Noonan reiterated the Irish Government’s position that it wants an “invisible Border that doesn’t inhibit the movement of goods, people or services”.

A recent survey conducted by recruitment website Irishjobs.ie has indicated that Irish companies are not adequately prepared for the economic fallout which the UK’s departure from the European Union may bring. 41 per cent of businesses surveyed admitted that they had not conducted a Brexit ready assessment.

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