23:57 GMT +319 April 2018
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    A journalist poses with a copy of the Brexit Article 50 bill, introduced by the government to seek parliamentary approval to start the process of leaving the European Union, in front of the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, January 26, 2017.

    Think Tank Reports on Brexit Process a Year on From Article 50

    © REUTERS / Toby Melville
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    A report notes that uncertainty over Britain’s negotiating position has increased over the past year, while the expected cracks between EU member states have yet to materialize.

    The British think-tank UK in a Changing EU today released its report detailing the political fallout from Theresa May's invocation of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty exactly a year ago, signaling the United Kingdom's intent to withdraw from the economic and political bloc.

    In addition to having to negotiate with the collective 27 remaining member states and managing a cabinet deeply divided on what form Brexit should take, the report's authors have added tensions with the country's devolved governments to the UK's list of challenges. The Welsh and Scottish regional governments have accused the Conservative government of attempting to seize powers currently exercised by Brussels covering agriculture and energy policies which it had promised would be handed to the devolved Parliaments.

    Both sides have agreed to a 19-month long transitional period to begin in March 2019, political uncertainty persists due to the precarious nature of the Conservatives' Parliamentary majority, ensured by a coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). The government has committed itself to withdrawing from both the European Customs Union and the Single Market, while the Labour Opposition has declared its intention, should it win government, to remain in the Customs Union while leaving the Single Market.

    In contrast to British instability, the European Union has shown unexpected unity of purpose among its member states in the negotiations. Even Eastern European states such as Poland and Hungary whose governments are highly critical of Brussels, The authors note however, have sought constructive negotiations with London in order to guarantee the rights of their citizens already resident in Britain. Fractures may emerge as trade talks progress however, and various states attempt to gain preferential access to the British market.

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    Tags:
    soft Brexit, Hard Brexit, Article 50, instability, transitional period, Brexit, British Labour Party, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Conservative Party, Customs Union, European Union, Theresa May, Hungary, Europe, Poland, Wales, United Kingdom, Scotland
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