MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Former leader of the Conservative Party Iain Duncan Smith said Friday that he is "certain" the country's authorities would trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that triggers the legal process for the United Kingdom to exit the European Union as soon as early next year.
"I am definitely certain that these characters, [UK ministers] David Davis, Liam Fox and Boris Johnson and the prime minister [Theresa May] by the way, are very clear that they need to get on with triggering Article 50 as soon as possible early in new year," Smith, former UK work and pensions secretary, told the BBC broadcaster.
According to the Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, each EU member state can leave the bloc. In order to start the process of leaving the European Union, a member state must formally inform Brussels about its intention and, then, formally begin negotiations on the matter. The departing member is released from its obligations under EU treaties once a final agreement is reached with Brussels or — if no such deal is struck — two years after notification was first given.