Sterling falls as UK sets date for Brexit talks trigger

Trevor Jackson
March 21, 2017

The United Kingdom has informed European Council President Donald Tusk's office of May's intention, the prime minister's spokesman said, confirming an earlier Reuters report from Brussels.

"He now knows the date on which Article 50 will be triggered".

If Britain and the rest of the EU fail to agree to terms by the spring of 2019, they will either have to extend the negotiations or Britain will simply fall out of the European Union without an agreement for its future relations with its biggest trading partner - a scenario known as "dirty Brexit".

The official notification will declare that negotiations should begin as soon as possible, May's spokesman said.

However, the negotiating game will now begin, and attention will be paid to whether there is any reaction on foreign exchange markets in particular, with sterling tending to weaken on any indications of a hard Brexit.

Notification comes 279 days after the referendum of June 23 a year ago delivered a 52 to 48 per cent majority in favour of withdrawal.

European Union officials have previously said that a notification just before May's self-imposed end-March deadline could mean a summit in early May was the most likely timing.

Mr Farron repeated his call for voters to have the final say on the deal negotiated by Mrs May, arguing that departure from the European Single Market was not on the ballot paper in June.

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The British government confirmed that it would trigger Article 50 on March 29th, 2017.

A spokesman said the government wants negotiations to start as soon as possible but added that they "fully appreciate it is right that the other 27 European Union states have time to agree their position".

The split came as Sir Tim gave an update verdict on the prospects for Britain agreeing a framework for future trade with the European Union within the two years of the Article 50 negotiations, to start next month.

She said from the city of Swansea: "I am very clear that I want to ensure we get the best possible deal for the United Kingdom that works for everyone across the UK and all parts of the UK when we enter these negotiations".

But such negotiations will be complex and the two-year deadline might not be enough.

It comes as Mrs May dismissed calls for a second independence referendum for Scotland before the Brexit deal is finalised.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "The Government has failed to build a consensus about what form Brexit should take".

She will visit Wales with Brexit Secretary David Davis and Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns, and will meet First Minister Carwyn Jones as well as business leaders.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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