UK Prime Minister Theresa May plans to trigger article 50 by end of March next year

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Theresa May, the prime minister of the United Kingdom, has told the BBC this morning she plans to trigger Article 50 no later than the end of March of next year. Article 50 is an article in the treaty on the European Union (EU) that sets out the method for withdrawing from the EU, as a UK referendum voted to do earlier this year.

Theresa May MP, Secretary of State for the Home Department

When triggered, Article 50 gives the country two years to agree to the the specifics of the exit; if this process is not finished within the deadline and member states do not vote unanimously to extend it, then the UK would be forced to leave the EU — leading to hesitancy in triggering it.

Her decision is consistent with what some have asked for. Iain Duncan Smith said earlier, "they need to get on with triggering Article 50 as soon as possible early in the new year". There have been reports the French and Italian governments want Article 50 to be triggered as soon as possible. Others have said they want Article 50 to be triggered immediately; in early August a UK petition calling for article 50 to be triggered immediately got 100,000 signatures.