Economy

United Kingdom to launch Brexit process on March 29

United Kingdom to launch Brexit process on March 29

Then comes the hard part - the arguments, the lawyers, the squabbles over money.

Here's a look at the main issues and what happens next. So here, the interests and attitudes of the European Union as an entity differ from those of its member states.

"Brexit will be a journey into the unknown", Luxembourg's former Finance Minister Luc Frieden recently told a joint meeting of that country's American and British Chambers of Commerce".

The prime minister's spokesman has confirmed that Theresa May will trigger article 50 on Wednesday, March 29, initiating the formal process for the United Kingdom to leave the EU.

European Council president Donald Tusk has previously indicated he will respond to the British within 48 hours with draft guidelines for how the negotiations will work. A legal challenge meant that she was unable to use "royal prerogative" to force Britain to trigger Article 50 and instead was required to get parliament's approval.

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This is precisely the mentality that the Foreign Secretary held up to ridicule - the idea that the European Union is held together by fear of what happens if you leave.

May embarked Monday on a tour of Britain as part of ongoing engagements with devolved regions ahead of triggering the Article 50.

Brexit Secretary David Davis described it as "the most important negotiation for a generation". "How many meetings, you know, who's going to meet, who's going to come". Brussels also wants to avoid clashing with the two-round French presidential election on April 23 and May 7.

The British government will also have to repeal the legislation that took it into the European Union and convert European Union law into British law.

EU leaders have said they intend to conclude Brexit talks within 18 months to allow the terms of the UK's exit to be ratified by the UK Parliament and the European Parliament, as well as approved by the necessary majority of EU states. Britain would then negotiate the technical details with the European Commission. He'll receive direction from the Council, which represents the leaders of the member states.

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May's tour started in Wales, and will be followed by visits to Scotland and Northern Ireland. Both sides agree that providing a guarantee that they will be able to stay where they are is a top priority.

But in his evidence to the committee, Jones said a House of Lords report, published earlier this month, which concluded that leaving the European Union without a deal would mean no legal obligation to pay any financial contribution at all, had been "extremely helpful".

British negotiators are sure to quibble over the size of that tab. The pound also dived against the euro, trading 0.1% down at 1.15.

May has since hardened the government's stance - after taking over as prime minister from David Cameron - into a "hard Brexit" which will see the United Kingdom (including Scotland, which voted to remain) leave the single market and end free movement of people. That makes some barriers to trade seem inevitable.

"Independent of the effects of Brexit, Great Britain remains a strong partner and ally in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and also bilaterally", it told the paper.

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The BBC's Ben Wright said he expected the Article 50 letter to be short, possibly extending to two pages at most, and for Mrs May to use it to publicly reiterate her general objectives - such as leaving the single market but reaching a mutually beneficial agreement on trade and other issues.