00:04 GMT +322 July 2019
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    Brussels to 'Make Every Effort' to Prevent EU States From Following Brexit

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    Brussels will do everything to prevent other EU countries from following Britain's example, political expert and representative of the Russian Council for International Affairs Lyudmila Babynina told Sputnik.

    British Prime Minister Theresa May has formally begun the process of withdrawing the UK from the European Union by sending a letter of intent to European Council President Donald Tusk, triggering Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon and paving the way for the biggest political upheaval in the EU's history.

    According to the provisions of the 50th article of the Lisbon Treaty, Britain will have to leave the Union on March 29, 2019, exactly two years after the official start of the withdrawal process.

    Despite concerns that other EU countries may follow the suit, Babynina believes that such a scenario is unlikely.

    "I doubt that. First, the EU will do its best to prevent this, and secondly, in none of the EU countries are ruling parties saying anything about a referendum on EU membership. Such statements are done only by completely marginalized parties, or the ones that are close to [being marginal]," Babynina said.

    According to the expert, both sides — the EU and Britain — are now facing a period of uncertainty.

    "Since the rules will now be worked out from scratch, Britain and the EU will agree on their bilateral relations and the conditions for Britain's access to the EU market. Of course, this is a period of uncertainty. The question is to what extent the parties will demonstrate the political will to meet each other's demands," the expert concluded.

    The United Kingdom held a referendum last June and decided to leave the European Union: 51.9% of the voters supported the move and 48.1% opposed it.

    Britons that still approve the Brexit vote result stand at 44 percent, just slightly above the 43 percent of respondents who regret the decision to leave the European Union, a YouGov poll indicated.


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