May says Brexit negotiations to open by end of March with "no delays"

Britain will begin the process of negotiating its exit from the European Union by the end of March with "no unnecessary delays," Prime Minister Theresa May said Sunday.

The government will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty - which begins the two-year negotiating process for a nation leaving the EU - by March at the latest, May said in a speech at the ruling Conservative Party's annual conference.

There will be "no unnecessary delays" in the negotiations, May said, following criticism that she had been slow to form a timetable for negotiations sincw the country's June vote for Brexit.

May said she plans to ask parliament to repeal the 1972 act which took Britain into the European Union in a "Great Repeal Bill."

"The authority of EU law in Britain will end," she said.

Speaking to the Sunday Times ahead of her speech, May said the Great Repeal Bill "marks the first stage in the UK becoming a sovereign and independent country once again."

The 1972 act is the means by which EU law is implemented in Britain. The new legislation will enshrine Brussels regulations in British law, but Parliament will be able to overturn regulations it no longer wants.

The move is designed to reassure business and workers whose rights are protected by EU law.

The bill is expected to be introduced at the formal start of the next parliamentary session in April or May.

It will only take effect once Britain has left the EU following the two-year process started by triggering Article 50.

Last update: Sun, 02/10/2016 - 18:47

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