Brexit means Brexit - Trigger to be March 2017- A recap of the last month
Published on October 25, 2016
By David McCredie, Chief Executive Officer at Australian British Chamber of Commerce
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May has set out the proposed timetable for the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and therefore a probable end date for the UK’s Membership of the European Union.
In her opening address to the assembled party faithful at the Conservative Party Conference, she pledged to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017 and to also repeal the European Communities Act (1972) which is the fundamental legislation that drew the UK into the EU.
In signalling this intent, she has clearly also given the time frame of the end of March 2019 for a probable exit date. This would be the earliest possible time for arrangements with Australia to be negotiated.
The Prime Minister also announced her Great Repeal Bill, which will be designed to move current EU legislation and regulation into the UK’s own law. This will enable trading and life more broadly will go on as before in the short term with the opportunity to reform being preserved for a time where there is less on the table to consider. Given the large swathe of reforms that are possible, this proposal at least provides some certainty in the short to medium term for businesses and should hold the economy, business confidence and continuity in a preferred position to move forward.
There continues to be a strong position held by both the UK and the EU on their opening negotiating positions, with firm statements the order of the day on both sides of the Channel.
The Australian British Chamber of Commerce will continue to monitor the statements from the British Government and is actively working with their representatives both here and in the UK as well as the Australian Government to build a framework and initial scoping study for our future trade and investment relationship. In recent weeks I have met with senior officials from the British High Commission, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and also with Treasury to discuss early scoping works and the opportunity to inform them of the opportunity from our Membership’s perspective.
The Chamber will release a business survey in November to gauge the current position and attitudes in the market and to begin a process of developing that platform for potential future free trade negotiation. This initial survey will be the beginning of our process to capture the key outcomes for our Members in the future relationship.
The Chamber would welcome your input into these initial discussions with your views on the current situation, both positive and negative and where you see opportunities for improvements in the future. Please forward any initial thoughts through to the Chamber via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .