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Britain to formally launch European Union exit on March 29

20 March 2017, 11:01 | Taylor George

Holyrood's Brexit minister has criticised the UK Government after claiming Tory politicians in London "forgot" to inform Scotland of the date when Article 50 will be triggered.

But EU leaders, anxious to avoid encouraging others in the 28-member bloc to split, have said they will not give May an easy ride.

By the end of next week, after he has received Prime Minister Theresa May's letter, European Council President Donald Tusk should have distributed draft guidelines for the negotiations to the 27 other national governments.

The spokesman said Britain wanted to start withdrawal negotiations "promptly", but accepts that "it is right that the 27 have a chance to agree their position" before talks start. Britain could leave earlier if it gets a deal, and the two-year deadline can be extended if all agree.

Brexit minister David Davis has said there would be no sudden drop in numbers, as it would take years to fill low-skilled jobs in hospitality, social care and agriculture now done by immigrants.

If all goes according to the two year negotiations set out in the official timetable, Brexit should happen in March 2019.

Mike Russell said he only found out the Brexit process would formally get under way on March 29 when it was reported in the media.

Dr Muscat told parliament that in his recent meeting with Mrs May in London, he emphasised that no new agreement would be better for the United Kingdom than that now in place with Britain as a full member of the union.

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The British Supreme Court started hearing the historic Brexit legal case on the day to decide whether the British government can begin the process to pull Britain out of the European Union (EU) without a parliament approval.

"We are going to be out there, negotiating hard, delivering on what the British people voted for", May said on Monday.

Talks on the terms of the departure are not permitted until the United Kingdom formally tells the European Union it is leaving.

This move comes after a referendum held nine months ago where British citizens voted 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent in favor to leave the European Union.

"The UK notification on 29 March does not leave sufficient time to prepare a European Council on 6-7 April to adopt the Brexit guidelines", the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The Institute for Government said in a report titled "Legislating Brexit" that the extra 15 measures would cover areas including immigration, agriculture and customs. We don't know if other European Union countries would agree to Britain going back to renegotiate the deal.

May has said she wants to make Brexit as painless as possible.



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