Brexit: Article 50 will be triggered next week

The British government says it will trigger the Article 50 process, to begin the formal process of leaving the European Union, before the end of the month.

The move comes nine months after Britain voted 51.9 per cent to 48.1 per cent in favour of Brexit in a referendum on June 23, 2016.

"Next Wednesday, the government will deliver on that decision and formally start the process by triggering Article 50", British MP and Brexit Secretary David Davis said in a statement.

Once Tusk has received the letter, the Polish politician will then consult the other 27 leaders of the Council on the Brexit trigger.

The official proceedings for Brexit that United Kingdom will invoke Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty will be done by letter, he said. If no deal is reached within two years, it is possible that Britain would be forced into what has been dubbed a "dirty Brexit". The British upper house of the Parliament passed the Brexit Bill Monday night, clearing the last hurdle for the government to trigger Brexit.

The government has indicated that Britain could make contributions to the European Union budget to ensure trade access.

She has said she wants a new relationship that is good for Britain and the European Union, but would rather walk away than accept a bad deal.

There may be other events for May to watch out for - including but not limited to another potential Scottish independence referendum and perhaps an early British election. The EU, however, says Britain can't have full access to the single market if it doesn't accept the free movement of its people, one of the bloc's key principles.

In response Mr Schinas said: "From us guys the reply is the following: Yes, we have been informed in advance, we are ready to begin negotiations". If Britain crashed out of the European Union without a trade deal it would fall back onto World Trade Organization rules, leading to tariffs and other barriers to trade.

"So, that takes a big chunk out of the government's capacity to legislate".

"The UK notification on 29 March does not leave sufficient time to prepare a European Council on 6-7 April to adopt the Brexit guidelines", the source told AFP on condition of anonymity. Experts suggest these separate negotiations could take years.

  • Salvatore Jensen