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Brexit: May to trigger Article 50 by March 2017

Culled from BBC NEWS

Theresa May will formally begin the Brexit process by the end of March 2017, she has told the BBC.

The prime minister confirmed the deadline for triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which sets in place a two-year process of withdrawal.

She has also promised a “Great Repeal Bill” in the next Queen’s Speech, which will overturn the act that took the UK into the EU.

It will remove the European Communities Act 1972 from the statute book.

The government will also enshrine all existing EU law into British law.

It comes as the Conservatives gather for their annual conference.

The repeal of the 1972 Act will not take effect until the UK leaves the EU under Article 50.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, the prime minister said the repeal bill would mark “the first stage in the UK becoming a sovereign and independent country once again”.

“It will return power and authority to the elected institutions of our country,” she said.

“It means that the authority of EU law in Britain will end.”

Conservative Party chairman Patrick McLaughlin told BBC Breakfast this proved the party was “very serious” about starting the process of leaving the EU, but added negotiations would not be conducted in the public eye.

“You don’t say exactly what you are going to negotiate on, but once negotiations are concluded we will say what we’ve achieved and how we’ve achieved it,” he said.

“To give a running commentary on every last sentence and paragraph would be ridiculous.”

Mrs May has also made clear she does not want the conference, being held in Birmingham, to be dominated by the issue of leaving the EU.

Tory MPs are divided between favouring a “hard Brexit” outside the European single market to obtain complete control over immigration, or a “soft Brexit” where the UK remains in the free trade zone, but potentially has to comply with some EU rules.

“I’m clear that we are not going to be completely consumed by Brexit,” Mrs May told the Sun on Sunday.

“What I want to deliver is real change. To build a country that works for everyone.”

Workers’ rights

Labour MP Phil Wilson, from the Open Britain campaign, said businesses want the prime minister to commit to single market membership.

“We still know nothing about the government’s plans for our new relationship with the EU, whether over trade, security or migration,” he said.

“As car manufacturers have made clear, it is essential that the UK remains a member of the single market to protect investment and jobs.”
European Communities Act 1972

In 1972 the UK Parliament passed the European Communities Act
It gave direct effect to EU law, so if there is a conflict between an act of the UK Parliament and EU law, Westminster loses out and EU law prevails
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) became a kind of Supreme Court of Europe, interpreting EU law with judgements that were binding on all member states
Did the UK lose its sovereignty in 1972?
Elsewhere, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis will tell the Conservative Party conference on Sunday that employment rights “will not be eroded” on exiting the EU.

He will dismiss any suggestion that the government intends to use Brexit to roll back workers’ rights and will say that UK law goes further than the minimum standards offered under EU law, such as for annual and parental leave.

Mr Davis will say: “To those who are trying to frighten British workers, saying ‘when we leave, employment rights will be eroded’, I say firmly and unequivocally ‘no they won’t’.”

He will also say: “The moment we leave, Britain must be back in control.

“And that means EU law must cease to apply.

“To ensure continuity, we will take a simple approach. EU law will be transposed into domestic law, wherever practical, on exit day.

“It will be for elected politicians here to make the changes to reflect the outcome of our negotiation and our exit.”

The repeal bill will also end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the UK.

Meanwhile, David Cameron’s former aide Alex Deane has said he does not anticipate Mrs May calling an early general election.

“She is a very cautious person,” he told BBC Breakfast. “She has four years of David Cameron’s term to finish or she can gamble and try to improve her majority, but there is no guarantee in politics that things will go as you want. Just ask David about the referendum.”

Culled from BBC NEWS

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