The British people have received confirmation that Art. 50 is to be triggered on Wednesday 29 March, in line with the timetable previously put forward by Theresa May (“PM”). Whilst this does not address the concerns of many Bremainers (?) and naysayers, it certainly marks a point from which negotiations can progress. This commentator welcomes the improved clarity, at least.

The past six weeks have seen various hurdles in the path of Art. 50, including objections and talks of referendums from the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish contingents. There has been little love lost between the PM and Nicola Sturgeon (Scottish First Minister), for example, who have been public in their disagreements, much to the delight of the Scottish Nationalist media. Despite these quarrels, it appears that Britain, as a whole, will be leaving the EU.

The House of Lords, too, had their attempt at delaying the initiation of negotiations with the EU. At first swing, the House voted against legislation which would authorise the PM to trigger Art. 50, citing the need for Parliamentary approval once a settlement plan was outlined. After a stern talking to, and possibly a reminder of their unelected status, the House conceded and legislation was passed.

An important step, then, but one which indicates departure rather than destination. Presumably, once the intention to leave has been finalised and submitted, the first priority on the agenda will be the treatment of IP, in particular trade mark law. After all, what could be more important?


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