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2017 in Retrospect > Top 10 World News Stories
Brexit Process Accelerated
 NO. 52 DECEMBER 28, 2017

 British Prime Minister Theresa May (left) and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (right) attend a press conference on the Brexit talks on December 4 in Brussels, Belgium (XINHUA)

On March 29, the British Government triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty as Prime Minister Theresa May sent a signed letter to EU leaders to kick-start negotiations for a new working relationship between London and Brussels. It marks the official start of the historic process for Britain to leave the EU. The move came 44 years after Britain first joined the EU, and just nine months after a national referendum in Britain in which 52 percent of voters chose Brexit.

The two sides initiated the process on June 19. And after six rounds of tough negotiation, a consensus was reached on their core concerns. The negotiation then entered its second phase. Pursuant to the EU laws, the Brexit negotiation should be finished before March 29, 2019. Within the coming 16 months, there are still some thorny problems for the two sides to overcome jointly. However, Brexit has already split British society and added uncertainty to the future development of the EU, out of concerns that other nations might follow suit.

Copyedited by Francisco Little

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