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20th Mar 2017

Article 50 to be triggered this month – official date set for start of Brexit

It's happening.

Nooruddean Choudry

Well like it or lump it, Brexit is finally happening.

Since last year’s Referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union – and the resulting public mandate to exit the trading bloc – there has been much discussion and speculation about when Article 50 would actually be triggered.

Well now we know – March 29. A Number 10 spokesperson confirmed the news on Monday. Prime Minister Theresa May will write a letter to the EU’s 27 other members, and the expectation is that exit negotiations will then begin as quickly as possible.

May is expected to make a statement to the House of Commons shortly after triggering Article 50.

For very basic context, the Lisbon Treaty became law in December 2009, when it was signed by the Heads of State of member countries. Triggering Article 50 of the Treaty means formally notifying fellow members of the intention to withdraw.

From the moment it is triggered, there is a two-year time limit to complete negotiations for an exit. If negotiations fail to reach agreement, the member state leaves with no agreed trading plans/agreements with member states. Brexit will therefore happen in one way or another in March 2019.