Brexit: The UK’s minute triggering Article 50

Theresa May's minute to Donald Tusk

Here is a full content of Theresa May’s minute to European Council boss Donald Tusk, commencement a start of Brexit negotiations.


Dear President Tusk

On 23 Jun final year, a people of a United Kingdom voted to leave a European Union. As we have pronounced before, that preference was no rejecting of a values we share as associate Europeans. Nor was it an try to do mistreat to a European Union or any of a remaining member states. On a contrary, a United Kingdom wants a European Union to attain and prosper. Instead, a referendum was a opinion to restore, as we see it, a inhabitant self-determination. We are withdrawal a European Union, though we are not withdrawal Europe – and we wish to sojourn committed partners and allies to a friends opposite a continent.

Earlier this month, a United Kingdom Parliament reliable a outcome of a referendum by voting with transparent and convincing majorities in both of a Houses for a European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. The Bill was upheld by Parliament on 13 Mar and it perceived Royal Assent from Her Majesty The Queen and became an Act of Parliament on 16 March.

Today, therefore, we am essay to give outcome to a approved preference of a people of a United Kingdom. we hereby forewarn a European Council in suitability with Article 50(2) of a Treaty on European Union of a United Kingdom’s goal to repel from a European Union. In addition, in suitability with a same Article 50(2) as unsentimental by Article 106a of a Treaty Establishing a European Atomic Energy Community, we hereby forewarn a European Council of a United Kingdom’s goal to repel from a European Atomic Energy Community. References in this minute to a European Union should therefore be taken to embody a anxiety to a European Atomic Energy Community.

See a minute as published by Downing Street (PDF)

This minute sets out a proceed of Her Majesty’s Government to a discussions we will have about a United Kingdom’s depart from a European Union and about a low and special partnership we wish to suffer – as your closest crony and neighbour – with a European Union once we leave. We trust that these objectives are in a interests not usually of a United Kingdom though of a European Union and a wider universe too.

It is in a best interests of both a United Kingdom and a European Union that we should use a stirring routine to broach these objectives in a satisfactory and nurse manner, and with as small intrusion as probable on any side. We wish to make certain that Europe stays clever and moneyed and is means of raised a values, heading in a world, and fortifying itself from confidence threats. We wish a United Kingdom, by a new low and special partnership with a clever European Union, to play a full partial in achieving these goals. We therefore trust it is required to establish a terms of a destiny partnership alongside those of a withdrawal from a European Union.

The Government wants to proceed a discussions with ambition, giving adults and businesses in a United Kingdom and a European Union – and indeed from third countries around a universe – as most certainty as possible, as early as possible.

I would like to introduce some beliefs that competence assistance to figure a entrance discussions, though before we do so, we should refurbish we on a routine we will be endeavour during home, in a United Kingdom.

The routine in a United Kingdom

As we have announced already, a Government will pierce brazen legislation that will dissolution a Act of Parliament – a European Communities Act 1972 – that gives outcome to EU law in a country. This legislation will, wherever unsentimental and appropriate, in outcome modify a physique of existent European Union law (the “acquis”) into UK law. This means there will be certainty for UK adults and for anybody from a European Union who does business in a United Kingdom. The Government will deliberate on how we pattern and exercise this legislation, and we will tell a White Paper tomorrow. We also intend to pierce brazen several other pieces of legislation that residence specific issues relating to a depart from a European Union, also with a perspective to ensuring smoothness and certainty, in sold for businesses. We will of march continue to do a responsibilities as a member state while we sojourn a member of a European Union, and a legislation we introduce will not come into outcome until we leave.

From a start and via a discussions, we will negotiate as one United Kingdom, holding due comment of a specific interests of any republic and segment of a UK as we do so. When it comes to a lapse of powers behind to a United Kingdom, we will deliberate entirely on that powers should reside in Westminster and that should be devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But it is a expectancy of a Government that a outcome of this routine will be a poignant boost in a decision-making energy of any devolved administration.

Negotiations between a United Kingdom and a European Union

The United Kingdom wants to establish with a European Union a low and special partnership that takes in both mercantile and confidence cooperation. To grasp this, we trust it is required to establish a terms of a destiny partnership alongside those of a withdrawal from a EU.

If, however, we leave a European Union though an agreement a default position is that we would have to trade on World Trade Organisation terms. In confidence terms a disaster to strech agreement would meant a team-work in a quarrel opposite crime and terrorism would be weakened. In this kind of scenario, both a United Kingdom and a European Union would of march cope with a change, though it is not a outcome that possibly side should seek. We contingency therefore work tough to equivocate that outcome.

It is for these reasons that we wish to be means to establish a low and special partnership, holding in both mercantile and confidence cooperation, though it is also given we wish to play a partial in creation certain that Europe stays clever and moneyed and means to lead in a world, raised a values and fortifying itself from confidence threats. And we wish a United Kingdom to play a full partial in realising that prophesy for a continent.

Proposed beliefs for a discussions

Looking brazen to a discussions that we will shortly begin, we would like to advise some beliefs that we competence establish to assistance make certain that a routine is as well-spoken and successful as possible.

i. We should rivet with one another constructively and respectfully, in a suggestion of frank cooperation. Since we became Prime Minister of a United Kingdom we have listened delicately to you, to my associate EU Heads of Government and a Presidents of a European Commission and Parliament. That is since a United Kingdom does not find membership of a singular market: we know and honour your position that a 4 freedoms of a singular marketplace are indivisible and there can be no “cherry picking”. We also know that there will be consequences for a UK of withdrawal a EU: we know that we will remove change over a manners that impact a European economy. We also know that UK companies will, as they trade within a EU, have to align with manners concluded by institutions of that we are no longer a partial – usually as UK companies do in other abroad markets.

ii. We should always put a adults first. There is apparent complexity in a discussions we are about to undertake, though we should remember that during a heart of a talks are a interests of all a citizens. There are, for example, many adults of a remaining member states vital in a United Kingdom, and UK adults vital elsewhere in a European Union, and we should aim to strike an early agreement about their rights.

iii. We should work towards securing a extensive agreement. We wish to establish a low and special partnership between a UK and a EU, holding in both mercantile and confidence cooperation. We will need to plead how we establish a satisfactory allotment of a UK’s rights and obligations as a vacating member state, in suitability with a law and in a suggestion of a United Kingdom’s stability partnership with a EU. But we trust it is required to establish a terms of a destiny partnership alongside those of a withdrawal from a EU.

iv. We should work together to minimise intrusion and give as most certainty as possible. Investors, businesses and adults in both a UK and opposite a remaining 27 member states – and those from third countries around a universe – wish to be means to plan. In sequence to equivocate any cliff-edge as we pierce from a stream attribute to a destiny partnership, people and businesses in both a UK and a EU would advantage from doing durations to adjust in a well-spoken and nurse proceed to new arrangements. It would assistance both sides to minimise nonessential intrusion if we establish this element early in a process.

v. In particular, we contingency compensate courtesy to a UK’s singular attribute with a Republic of Ireland and a significance of a assent routine in Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland is a usually EU member state with a land limit with a United Kingdom. We wish to equivocate a lapse to a tough limit between a dual countries, to be means to say a Common Travel Area between us, and to make certain that a UK’s withdrawal from a EU does not mistreat a Republic of Ireland. We also have an critical shortcoming to make certain that zero is finished to imperil a assent routine in Northern Ireland, and to continue to defend a Belfast Agreement.

vi. We should start technical talks on minute process areas as shortly as possible, though we should prioritise a biggest challenges. Agreeing a high-level proceed to a issues outset from a withdrawal will of march be an early priority. But we also introduce a confidant and desirous Free Trade Agreement between a United Kingdom and a European Union. This should be of larger range and aspiration than any such agreement before it so that it covers sectors essential to a related economies such as financial services and network industries. This will need minute technical talks, though as a UK is an existent EU member state, both sides have regulatory frameworks and standards that already match. We should therefore prioritise how we conduct a expansion of a regulatory frameworks to say a satisfactory and open trade environment, and how we solve disputes. On a range of a partnership between us – on both mercantile and confidence matters – my officials will put brazen minute proposals for deep, extended and energetic cooperation.

vii. We should continue to work together to allege and strengthen a common European values. Perhaps now some-more than ever, a universe needs a liberal, approved values of Europe. We wish to play a partial to safeguard that Europe stays clever and moneyed and means to lead in a world, raised a values and fortifying itself from confidence threats.

The charge before us

As we have said, a Government of a United Kingdom wants to establish a low and special partnership between a UK and a EU, holding in both mercantile and confidence cooperation. At a time when a expansion of tellurian trade is negligence and there are signs that protectionist instincts are on a arise in many tools of a world, Europe has a shortcoming to mount adult for giveaway trade in a seductiveness of all a citizens. Likewise, Europe’s confidence is some-more frail currently than during any time given a finish of a Cold War. Weakening a team-work for a wealth and insurance of a adults would be a dear mistake. The United Kingdom’s objectives for a destiny partnership sojourn those set out in my Lancaster House debate of 17 Jan and a successive White Paper published on 2 February.

We recognize that it will be a plea to strech such a extensive agreement within a two-year duration set out for withdrawal discussions in a Treaty. But we trust it is required to establish a terms of a destiny partnership alongside those of a withdrawal from a EU. We start from a singular position in these discussions – tighten regulatory alignment, trust in one another’s institutions, and a suggestion of team-work stretching behind decades. It is for these reasons, and given a destiny partnership between a UK and a EU is of such significance to both sides, that we am certain it can be concluded in a time duration set out by a Treaty.

The charge before us is useful though it should not be over us. After all, a institutions and a leaders of a European Union have succeeded in bringing together a continent blighted by fight into a kinship of pacific nations, and upheld a transition of dictatorships to democracy. Together, we know we are means of reaching an agreement about a UK’s rights and obligations as a vacating member state, while substantiating a low and special partnership that contributes towards a prosperity, confidence and tellurian energy of a continent.

Yours sincerely

Theresa May


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