London, Jan 8 (IECurrentAffairs) Clearing the speculations around Brexit’s move to extend Article 50 exit process, Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay has clarified that United Kingdom will leave European Union (EU) on March 29 and is certainly not looking to extend the exit process.
Under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), “Any member state may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements”
Article 50 which allows member states to withdraw, was originally drafted by Scottish cross-bench peer and former diplomat Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, the secretary-general of the European Convention, which drafted the Constitutional Treaty for the European Union. Following the failure of the ratification process for the European Constitution, the clause was incorporated into the Treaty of Lisbon which entered into force in 2009.
Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon gives any EU member state the right to quit unilaterally and outlines the procedure for doing so. It gives the leaving country two years to negotiate an exit deal.
Three separate EU sources confirmed that UK officials had been “putting out feelers” and “testing the waters” on an Article 50 extension, even as the Government said it had no intention of asking to extend the negotiating period, UK news daily The Telegraph reported.
“The government’s policy is clear on this, the Prime Minister has said it on many occasions: We are leaving the European Union on the 29th of March. We are not looking to extend,” Barclay told Sky News.
When asked if any lawmakers in the Conservative Party had changed their minds on opposing May’s deal, Barclay said, “Some have said they are much more open to but it is obviously challenging.”