Signing of Article 50 a Move Into the Unknown

The U.K. will start the clock on two years of negotiations to withdraw from the European Union on Wednesday, a divorce that will redefine the country’s relationship with its largest trading partner and bring to an end decades of deepening political integration on the continent.

The ties that have bound the U.K. to the EU since 1973 will start to unravel at around 1:30 p.m. in Brussels when Britain’s ambassador hands EU President Donald Tusk a hand-signed letter from Prime Minister Theresa May invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the legal exit mechanism. May will address lawmakers in London at about the same time.

Nine months since Britons unexpectedly voted to leave, the phony war of what Brexit might look like will turn into a real battle over the complex terms of a settlement with 27 other governments. Enough lines over money, trade and immigration have been drawn to suggest a tough process with costs to both sides.

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Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam

Senior Currency Analyst at OANDA
Based in London, England, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a Market Analyst. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary. He has been published by The Financial Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Telegraph, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Sky News, Bloomberg, CNBC and BBC. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and he is recognized as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.