Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II signed the morning of 16 March a bill allowing the British government to send to the EU a formal request for the country’s withdrawal from the Union. After approval by the monarch document takes full effect and becomes law.
Now the Cabinet of Ministers to start negotiations on withdrawal from the European Union at any time. Earlier, Prime Minister Theresa may have repeatedly claimed that plans to send a notification to Brussels to start negotiations no later than 31 March 2017.
According to article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, if the government intends to withdraw from the European Union, it should “according to their constitutional requirements” apply to the exit, and then start the negotiations about the conditions of release, they have no more than two years.
As Britain has no codified Constitution, the lawyers filed a lawsuit against the government, urging that the decision to start Brexit was first approved by Parliament. The government lost the first process, and then filed an appeal, then put to Parliament a bill on time a Brexit. By 13 March a document in its original form adopted both houses (all proposed changes have been rejected), after which he was able to sign the Queen.
The text of the new law contains only a few paragraphs authorizing the Cabinet of Ministers to start negotiations for a Brexit. All substantial part of a government plan described in the so-called White book, which is a concept describing the intention of the authorities and without legal effect.
Members of Parliament had intended to transfer the most important provisions of the concept in the bill (such as rights of European citizens in Britain and Britons in the EU), but are unable to collect a sufficient number of votes for approval of the edits. Now citizens of EU countries after five years of residence in Britain will automatically receive resident status. The house of lords proposed to keep this rule unilaterally, but the house of Commons rejected the edit. Now the fate of the expats will be addressed during the two-year negotiations between London and Brussels.
Despite the fact that legally may have the right to start the process Brexit today, The Guardian sources in the government said that the Prime Minister is planning to wait two weeks and begin negotiations on March 27. This is due to the reluctance of the Prime Minister to take drastic steps immediately after the news about a new referendum on secession of Scotland.
Monday, March 13, the Prime Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon has threatened to organize a second referendum on Scottish independence from the UK by the spring of 2019 — just in time for the completion point Brexit. According to Sturgeon, the reluctance of London to discuss the problems of the region which will arise after the withdrawal from the European market, make a new referendum is “inevitable”.
In the words of former Minister of foreign Affairs of great Britain William Hague, the government may now threatens “war on two fronts” — with the EU and with Scotland. Exports to the EU is almost half of the total exports of Scotland outside the UK (£12.3 bn in 2015), with this point of view, Edinburgh has always been interested in close economic ties with the continent.
The previous referendum on secession of Scotland was held in September of 2014 when 55% of Scots voted for preservation of the region within the UK. The referendum on withdrawal of Britain from the EU was held on 23 June 2016. For access voted 51.9% of citizens, or about 17.4 million people.
Since the beginning of this week the British pound fell against the Euro by 0.4% (€1,14), and the US dollar rose by 0.8% (of $1.23 per pound). However, over the last month (mid Feb) the pound fell against the Euro by 2.2%, and the dollar by 1.8%.