The 2 year Article 50 clock is already ticking - Article 50(3) TEU - and the immense amount of negotiation to be conducted is scheduled to begin on 19th June and negotiations will be conducted in accordance with EU Council guidelines - (previous post). The 2 year period is intended to be used to "negotiate and conclude an agreement ... setting out the arrangements for ... withdrawal, taking account of the framework for ... future relationship with the Union." It is not entirely clear what a framework for future relationship entails but it seems likely that it will have to address fundamental points such as the UK's financial settlement and the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU(27). Whatever the final content of the withdrawal agreement, much detail will remain to be addressed after the 2 year period expires. Any view that everything can be concluded by March 2019 appears to be unrealistic.
The manifesto confirms (yet again) that the UK will not be a member of the single market or customs union but a comprehensive freed trade and customs agreement will be sought. There is tension between this and the EU's stated position that the relationship between the Union and a non member State cannot offer the same benefits as Union membership.
The manifesto accepts that there will be a "fair settlement of the UK's rights and obligations as a departing member State" and it is stated that it is necessary to agree the terms of the UK's future partnership alongside withdrawal, reaching agreement on both within the two years allowed by Article 50. It is not clear whether "terms of future partnership" differs from the "framework for future relationship" which has to be taken account of in the withdrawal agreement referred to in Article 50.
A further section in the manifesto refers to repatriating EU law to the UK - e.g. the Great Repeal Bill. The manifesto states:
Although the manifesto is not specific, it may be that "common UK frameworks" will require alteration to the devolution legislation. The aim is to avoid Brexit somehow creating problems with internal UK trade between the different parts of the UK. The manifesto lacks detail.
The Labour Party manifesto contains a section on Negotiating Brexit in which it is stated that Labour would replace the Conservative government's White Paper on Brexit. They would have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single Market and Customs Union said to be essential for maintaining industries, jobs and businesses in Britain. They would also have a European Union Rights and Protection Bill in place of the Conservative Great Repeal Bill. This would ensure there is no detrimental change to workers’ rights, equality law, consumer rights or environmental protections as a result of Brexit.
The Liberal Democrats manifesto states - "We passionately believe that Britain is better off in the EU. We will fight against the Conservatives disastrous hard Brexit - their choice to make the UK a poorer place." Their manifesto promises a referendum on the deal reached at the end of the Article 50 negotiations and the Party pledges to "fight a hard Brexit."