UK leader says Brexit will begin 'before March 2017'

Prime Minister Theresa May confirms exit negotiations with EU will get underway before next spring

UK leader says Brexit will begin 'before March 2017'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Britain will trigger the formal process for leaving the European Union no later than March 2017, the country’s Prime Minister Theresa May said on Sunday.

May said a two-year period of exit negotiations with European officials would begin once the U.K. invoked Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, the mechanism which allows EU member states to leave the 28-country bloc.

People in Britain voted by a 52-48 percent margin to leave the EU in a referendum in June, prompting the resignation of David Cameron and his replacement by Theresa May.

The new prime minister revealed her timetable for Article 50 during a television interview on Sunday, ahead of the first day of her Conservative Party’s annual conference in Birmingham at which she will deliver a keynote speech.

“As you know, I have been saying that we wouldn't trigger it [Article 50] before the end of this year so that we get some preparation in place,” she told BBC television.

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

In a newspaper interview published earlier on Sunday, May also announced plans for sweeping legislation which would integrate the European rulebook into British law -- a key step towards completing Brexit.

She told The Sunday Times: “We will introduce, in the next Queen’s speech, a Great Repeal Bill that will remove the European Communities Act from the statute book. That was the act that took us into the European Union.

“This marks the first stage in the U.K. becoming a sovereign and independent country once again. It will return power and authority to the elected institutions of our country. It means that the authority of EU law in Britain will end.”

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Ekim 2016, 14:25