Brexit has become official, as UK Prime Minister Theresa May has formally invoked Article 50, the mechanism for a country to leave the European Union.
Now, two years of negotiations will take place, setting out the new relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union.
WATCH: UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech to the House of Commons on the invocation of Article 50:
Theresa May’s letter to EU Council President Donald Tusk
“Dear President Tusk
On 23 June last year, the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. As I have said before, that decision was no rejection of the values we share as fellow Europeans. Nor was it an attempt to do harm to the European Union or any of the remaining member states. On the contrary, the United Kingdom wants the European Union to succeed and prosper. Instead, the referendum was a vote to restore, as we see it, our national self-determination. We are leaving the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe – and we want to remain committed partners and allies to our friends across the continent.
Earlier this month, the United Kingdom Parliament confirmed the result of the referendum by voting with clear and convincing majorities in both of its Houses for the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. The Bill was passed by Parliament on 13 March and it received Royal Assent from Her Majesty The Queen and became an Act of Parliament on 16 March.
Today, therefore, I am writing to give effect to the democratic decision of the people of the United Kingdom. I hereby notify the European Council in accordance with Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Union. In addition, in accordance with the same Article 50(2) as applied by Article 106a of the Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, I hereby notify the European Council of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Atomic Energy Community. References in this letter to the European Union should therefore be taken to include a reference to the European Atomic Energy Community.”
WATCH: Donald Tusk speaks after receiving Theresa May’s letter
Negotiations will not be easy
It’s going to be a tough few years of negotiations between the UK and EU. The UK understandably wants a great deal, particularly on trade. However, the EU will want to see the UK suffer economically, to scare other countries away from leaving. That only goes to show how weak the EU has become – fear is all they really have left.
The UK may benefit from a friendly administration in the United States. Donald Trump – and many of his advisors – are skeptical of the EU, and want to see Britain do well by leaving it. That could lead to expanded trade ties between America and Britain, and could provide incentive for other countries to leave the EU as well.
Nationalism beats Globalism
Brexit is a great example of nationalism beating globalism. The out-of-touch elites still seem to think people actually like being ruled by distant foreign capitals and gigantic, impenetrable bureaucracies. Brexit shows otherwise.
Around the world, there is a growing movement of people seeking to reclaim their independence and put the interests of their own country first. For all of us who want our nations to be strong, independent, and free, Brexit is an inspiring example.