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Article 50 triggered by UK by end of March 2017?

In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, the world wondered "What happens next?" The vote, although a referendum vote to assess the will of the people, did not by itself cause the UK to leave the European Union. The mechanism for doing so is Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, and Brexit does not formally begin until that article is triggered.

The Article states that any EU member country can decide to leave the Union by formally notifying the European Council. Upon notification, the exiting country commences a two-year period of negotiation to, in essence, re-negotiate the country's new relationship with the rest of the EU. The final agreement must be ratified by the European Council, in consultation with the European Parliament.

Triggering Article 50 is risky by design, however. If the agreement is not ratified within the two-year timeframe, the exiting country goes away empty-handed, with regards to formal relationships with the remaining EU countries.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has said that she will trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017. Although a ruling by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom requires that May secure Parliamentary approval to proceed, a preliminary vote in Feb. 2017 showed strong support, likely clearing the way for May to trigger Article 50.

Will Brexit proceed as planned, with notice served to the European Council under Article 50, by the end of March 2017?

This question will resolve as positive if a credible news outlet reports that Article 50 has been formally triggered by the United Kingdom on or before March 31, 2017.


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