Sterling falls as UK sets date for Brexit talks trigger

Claudine Rigal
Mars 21, 2017

Theresa May has finally revealed that she will trigger Article 50 on March 29, launching the two-year countdown to Brexit. Scottish voters backed remaining in the European Union, and Sturgeon said Scotland mustn't be "taken down a path that we do not want to go down without a choice".

Expect the real action to start in late May or early June, when the two sides sit down to start the talks.

Mike Cherry, national chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said next Wednesday will need to be the "starting gun for a pro-business Brexit".

Formal talks between Britain and the EU must then wait for member states to approve more detailed negotiating rules and give an official mandate to European Commission Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, officials said.

It was an objection only-how shall I put it- loosely connected to the facts, and now the United Kingdom may be looking at something considerably worse.

The article states that any interim agreement should include a schedule for a new free-trade area "within a reasonable length of time" - but it doesn't determine what is reasonable.

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.

The EU is expected to release an initial response to the Article 50 notification within 48 hours.

"Everything is ready on this side", Margaritis Schinas, the chief spokesman for the European Union executive, told a regular news briefing.

Britons voted by 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the European Union in a referendum in June 2016.

It will be the first time that the provisions of Article 50 - which sets out the process for any EU member state "to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements" - have been activated.

British prime minister Theresa May is due to make a statement to the House of Commons the same day.

According to the Guardian, Barrow had a conversation with European Council President Donald Tusk confirming that Theresa May will notify him [Trusk] in writing and that she will address the parliament as well.

As the Prime Minister visited the country this morning ahead of triggering Article 50, Ms Wood told the BBC that "all options should be on the table".

Her aim is to enforce a message of unity in the wake of Scotland demanding a second referendum over its independence from the United Kingdom.

The developments come as an independent think tank warned today that up to 15 new bills could be needed to deliver Brexit.

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