This follows the Foreign Secretary’s recent admission (see here) that Article 50 will be invoked by “early” 2017.
In the interview the Prime Minister stated: “As you know, I have been saying that we wouldn’t trigger it before the end of this year so that we get some preparation in place. But yes, I will be saying in my speech today that we will trigger (Article 50) before the end of March next year.”
The Prime Minister went on to add: “The remaining members of the EU have to decide what the process of negotiation is. I hope, and I will be saying to them, now that they know what our timing is going to be – it’s not an exact date but they know it will be in the first quarter of next year – that we’ll be able to have some preparatory work so that once the trigger comes we have a smoother process of negotiation. It’s not just important for the UK but important for Europe as a whole that we’re able to do this in the best possible way so we have the least disruption for businesses, and when we leave the EU we have a smooth transition from the EU.“
She went on to confirm that the details of any negotiations will not be discussed in public: “This is not about keeping silent for two years, but it’s about making sure that we are able to negotiate, that we don’t set out all the cards in our negotiation because, as anybody will know who’s been involved in these things, if you do that up front, or if you give a running commentary, you don’t get the right deal“.