Theresa May officially starts Brexit process

  • Here the BBC’s Danny Shaw examines the security issues at stake in the Brexit process.
  • In theory, it is in everyone’s interests for the UK and the EU to maintain co-operation after Brexit on policing, law enforcement and security.
  • There is a consensus that the access Britain has to SIS II, Europol and the EAW is vital to the UK’s crime-fighting capabilities.
  • But the access is derived from the UK’s membership of the EU, its adoption of an EU-wide data protection framework and compliance with rulings from the European Court of Justice.
  • If the UK no longer signs up to the rules, why should it be allowed into the club?

Main story: UK officially leaving EU; Read: The UK’s Brexit letter; The BBC editors: The key negotiation issues; The basics: All you need to know

@BBCBreaking: The EU has received the letter from UK that will trigger Article 50 & formally begin the #Brexit process

#BrexitDay

The European Movement is opposed to Brexit because we believe it represents an attempt to insulate Britain from the modern world. The case has been built on a series of undeliverable promises which threaten not merely our living standards but the system of values, friendships and alliances which Britain has built in the post-colonial era. In a healthy democracy those who take this view not only have the right to make our case; we have an inescapable obligation to do so.”

There was little optimism on show in Europe’s newspapers as Brexit loomed.

Its economics correspondent Ralph Bollman warned that the loss to the EU of its third largest economy would “also weaken Germany’s voice in the world”. Overall, he believed a “highly-indebted Britain has the most to lose from uncertainty over a friendly deal with Brussels”.

The headline for France’s centre-left Le Monde was “The consequences of the break”. While Theresa May started from a position of strength because of “the decay” of the opposition Labour Party, the UK faced “complex negotiations over expatriates, access to the single market, and control of borders”.

Italy’s Corriere della Sera said “Brexit is under way, but without walls”: negotiations would set “no predetermined ceilings for EU migration, but rather decisions sector by sector”.

And the push and pull between the UK’s two most important addresses as Britain starts the process of leaving the European Union – Number 10 and Number 11 – was evident in every word of the statement and the following letter triggering our exit from the EU.

She said that Britain would be a “magnet for international talent”, that entrepreneurs would be welcome and that the UK would be a committed partner for the EU which Britain wanted to flourish.

Theresa May officially starts Brexit process