In a speech to the Conservative party conference on Sunday October 2, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced that the Government will invoke Article 50 – the two year formal process by which the UK will negotiate its exit from the EU – by the end of March 2017, meaning that the UK should be out of the EU by 2019. The Prime Minister told the party conference “We are going to be a fully independent, sovereign country – a country that is no longer part of a political union with supranational institutions that can override national parliaments and courts. And that means we are going, once more, to have the freedom to make our own decisions on a whole host of different matters, from how we label our food to the way in which we choose to control immigration.”
Mrs May also told party members about plans for a “Great Repeal Bill” which will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, and implement new legislation incorporating all EU regulations in UK law as soon as Brexit takes effect. Future governments will then be able to amend and cancel any unwanted laws.
Mrs May indicated that a “hard Brexit” could be on the cards as she stated that, whilst the government would seek access to the single market if possible, controlling immigration would be the priority and key basis for the UK’s departure from the EU. Mrs May made it clear that border controls are a red line and said that “we are not leaving the European Union only to give up control of immigration again”.