Theresa May will trigger the two year process of leaving the European Union on March 29th, No 10 have announced.
Tim Barrow, the UK’s ambassador to the EU, formally notified the office of EU Council president Donald Tusk this morning.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We said it would be by the end of March and thought it would be helpful to say when it will happen.
“We want negotiations to start promptly. We expect It will be a two year process and we are confident that is what we will achieve. So Britain will exit the EU on 29 March 2019.
The UK “expects to receive a response within 48 hours”, the spokesman added.
Britain has 739 days left in the European Union after Number 10 confirmed Britain will trigger the start of Brexit talks on March 29th 2017
— Christopher Hope (@christopherhope) March 20, 2017
Mrs May revealed ahead of her first speech as Prime Minister at the Tory Party Conference that she would trigger Article 50 no later than the end of March 2017.
But she was accused of “losing momentum” and “making errors” by delaying the formal start of Brexit talks in the wake of Nicola Sturgeon’s shock demand for a Scottish independence referendum.
The Prime Minister was expected formally to start negotiations with other European Union member states last week, after Parliament had passed a law allowing talks to begin.
Responding to the announcement, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis said: “Last June, the people of the UK made the historic decision to leave the EU. Next Wednesday, the Government will deliver on that decision and formally start the process by triggering Article 50.
“We are on the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation.
“The Government is clear in its aims: a deal that works for every nation and region of the UK and indeed for all of Europe – a new, positive partnership between the UK and our friends and allies in the European Union.”