Negotiations will also soon hit a fundamental topic: Britain wants “frictionless” free trade, but says it will restore controls over immigration, ending the right of European Union citizens to live and work in Britain.
Once that is received, there will be a two-year negotiating process before the United Kingdom finally breaks away in 2019.
EU President Donald Tusk, who is responsible for calling summits, said he would issue the draft guidelines within 48 hours of Britain triggering its exit.
London has repeatedly said it wants to maintain good relations with its European allies, but major battles await, in particular over budget contributions, immigration and future trade ties.
Margaritis Schinas, the European Commission’s chief spokesman, said: “We are ready to begin negotiations”. Ireland’s interests are best served by a smooth negotiating process, a transitional deal for trade after 2019 – before a final agreement is reached – and a final deal which allows trade to continue as freely as possible in the long term. “We will not be intimidated by threats, and I can assure you they simply will not work”, Juncker warned. We have a plan for Britain and we also have a very clear plan for Brexit.
However, new research from Hitachi Capital British Business Barometer shows that small to medium-sized businesses in the United Kingdom manufacturing sector are increasingly optimistic about their fortunes outside the EU.
Meanwhile, an European Union spokesperson told reporters in Brussels that they are “ready and waiting” for the letter.
Notification comes 279 days after the referendum of June 23 a year ago delivered a 52%-48% majority in favour of withdrawal.
The notification of Article 50 will take the form of a letter to Tusk, likely outlining Britain’s key objectives, followed by a statement by May to MPs in the House of Commons.
Once Tusk has received the letter, the Polish politician will then consult the other 27 leaders of the Council on the Brexit trigger. The Scotland head of state is demanding a second referendum on Scottish independence before the terms of Brexit are signed.
Meanwhile, Britain’s Institute for Government has said as many as 15 new Parliamentary Bills may be needed due to Brexit. Yes, it’s true that some Remainers have made a speciality of “problematizing” Brexit, but reworking Britain’s relationship with the European Union after over forty years of integration is indeed technically as well as politically extremely complex.
The extra measures will place “a huge burden” on Parliament and government departments, the think tank says.
Last week Number 10 officials confirmed the prime minister would not trigger Article 50 until the end of the month, but declined to give a specific date.
The call would take advantage of polls showing May’s Tories well ahead of the opposition Labour Party, which has been beset by internal strife under left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn. When formal talks start in late May or June, Mr Barnier could then say talks on trade were simply beyond his mandate, according to European Union officials.