Britain has triggered its exit from the European Union on Wednesday with the formal delivery of a letter invoking Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon. The country will remain a member of the bloc during the two-year exit process.
Notice of the UK’s intention to leave the bloc under Article 50 was handed by Britain’s permanent representative to the EU, Tim Barrow, to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, dw.de reports.
British Prime Minister Theresa May had signed the letter invoking Article 50 on Tuesday and addressed parliament. According to a leaked draft of the official EU statement in response, Tusk will stress that Brussels is “ready” to walk away from talks if negotiations fail.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s letter has a conciliatory tone and called for a new “bold and ambitious” free trade deal with the EU. She said she wanted a “deep and special partnership” that would take in both security and economic cooperation. “Europe’s security is more fragile today than at any time since the end of the Cold War,” May said.
PM Grindeanu concerned about Romanians in the UK
Protecting the interests of Romanian citizens in the UK is a priority for the Romanian government, Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said on Wednesday.
“We regret that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will not be our partner within the community’s structures and institutions. We hope that the negotiations will be conducted in a constructive spirit, favouring long-term interests of both parties, whereas the need for close links between the European Union and the United Kingdom cannot be denied. Our priority is now to protect the rights of Romanian citizens in the UK,” Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu said.
The government will get actively involved in defending the rights and interests of Romanian citizens in the UK, in promoting the consolidation mechanisms for cooperation between the UK and the EU and in keeping the European budget regarding the Cohesion Policy and Common Agricultural Policy of the EU during 2014-2020, a press release reads.
“For Romania, the UK is an essential partner and will remain so. Our countries have a strategic partnership, seen as an acknowledgement of the special connections and of a common vision we have on many international issues. We want to deepen the partnership on its security and defence component, as well as on developing the economic cooperation and on intensifying the British cultural presence in Romania,” PM Grindeanu said.
The Premier has requested the Minister for Romanians Everywhere, Andreea Pastarnac, to pay a visit to the UK in early April in order to discuss with the Romanian community and with the British authorities.
Within the context of Brexit, the government has set up an inter-ministerial mechanism aiming to substantiate Romania’s general and sectoral mandates and to follow the negotiation process of UK leaving the European Union.