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EU sets up Brexit task force, Farage says Article 50 to start in January

Staff Writer | September 15, 2016
The European Commission decided to set up a Task Force for the preparation and conduct of the negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50 of the TEU.
Michel Barnier
Exit   The Article 50 Task Force has been created
This follows the appointment, on July 27, 2016, by President Juncker of Michel Barnier as chief negotiator in charge of those negotiations and of the new Task Force.

As Head of the Article 50 Task Force, Michel Barnier will report directly to the President and will be supported by a team of the best Commission experts. He will also be advised by a group of Directors-General dealing with the issues relevant to the negotiations.

The Article 50 Task Force will be in charge of preparing and conducting the negotiations with the UK, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the European Union.

The Task Force will coordinate the Commission's work on all strategic, operational, legal and financial issues related to these negotiations. It will be able to draw on policy support from all Commission services.

The British government is likely to trigger formal Brexit talks with the European Union in January 2017, the former leader of Ukip, Nigel Farage said.

"I don't mind the government spending a few months getting its ducks in a row, getting ready," Farage told Bloomberg. "I think what you'll see, I hope what you'll see is Article 50 triggered probably in January."

Prime Minister Theresa May said she would not trigger Article 50, the clause in the Lisbon Treaty that initiates a two-year negotiation period with the EU, this year.

However, she is facing calls from the pro-Brexit contingent of the Conservative party to trigger the clause in the new year, before elections are held in France and Germany in the spring and summer.