Article 50 trigger date: political and business reaction

Talks on the terms of Britain's exit from the European Union, and how the two sides will handle relations afterward, must be completed within two years.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, reacted to the announcement on Twitter by saying, "Within 48 hours of the United Kingdom triggering Article 50, I will present the draft Brexit guidelines to the EU27 Member States". It is now unclear if the negotiations will include a future trade deal between Britain and the European Union or whether that will be handled separately.

Schinas said that the European Commission, the executive arm of the bloc, will then issue a formal recommendation to open Brexit negotiations shortly after the summit.

Some in the European Union argue that the divorce must be finalised first - including the contentious issue of Britain's outstanding bills, which European Union officials have estimated at 60 billion euros. Though it would give more time to both negotiating sides, EU officials claim that the United Kingdom would have to continue paying into the EU budget and being subject to rulings from the European Court of justice during that time - but these are two of the reasons why Brexiters want to leave the EU rapidly.

18 percent of the survey respondents cited the minority government in Spain as the biggest risk and 17 percent cited political climate.

The invocation will formally begin Brexit negotiations.

Theresa May has vowed to "negotiate hard" as Downing Street announced Article 50 would be triggered on 29 March.

"Just as importantly, the government needs to provide additional support to small businesses to ensure they can capitalise on new trade opportunities with non-EU markets post-Brexit".

March 13: Britain's Parliament approves a bill giving the government the authority to invoke Article 50 to take Britain out of the EU.

The article also clearly states that a country will have two years to reach an agreement on the exit, during which time the country would still be governed by European Union treaties and laws, although it will not be allowed in the decision-making process.

According to May's timetable, Brexit is expected to happen in March 2019. The divorce is likely to focus on settling up bills and - hopefully - agreeing a transitional arrangement.

The British government has said firmly that it will not backtrack on Brexit.

Brussels is expected to release an initial response to the Article 50 notification within 48 hours.

  • Leroy Wright