May's Brexit date yields initiative to EU's 27 other members

Critics argue it would be "impossible" for any agreement to be struck within the 24-month timescale due to the complexity of the negotiations.

The extra measures will place "a huge burden" on Parliament and government departments, the think tank says.

She will send the formal letter by the end of March.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants her country to hold a referendum on Scottish independence immediately after Britain's exit from the EU.

The ambitious two-year timetable has been questioned by the former directory of the World Trade Organisation.

The EC is expected to provide an initial answer to Britain's Article 50 notification within 48 hours, but negotiations are not expected to start for several weeks or even months. She has previously said that there could be no "half in, half out" deal and Britain is prepared to withdraw from the European single market - a central tenet of the European Union that guarantees the free movement of goods, capital, services and people - and also the customs union, which guarantees tariff-free trade within Europe.

Earlier, Downing Street said Mrs May would write a letter to the European Council, adding that it hoped negotiations on the terms of Brexit and future relations could then begin as quickly as possible.

"We are going to be out there, negotiating hard, delivering on what the British people voted for", May said on Monday. There are reports that a "Great Repeal Bill" that would include both of these elements may be revealed on the same day as Article 50 is triggered.

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.

They will be expressing the concern of thousands of Britons in Italy who are living in a state of uncertainty and alarm over how Brexit - Britain's leaving the European Union - will affect their futures here. "The Government is clear in its aims: a deal that works for every nation and region of the United Kingdom and indeed for all of Europe - a new, positive partnership between the United Kingdom and our friends and allies in the European Union". The EU says Britain must pay a hefty divorce bill of up to 60 billion euros ($64 billion), to cover EU staff pensions and other expenses the United Kingdom has committed to.

The presence of the UK's only land border with the European Union has not brought the sort of firm commitment on potential arrangements that people expect to hear and instead we have had vague talk of a virtual border involving as yet unspecified technology.

"Theresa May has repeatedly said that she wants to build a national consensus on Brexit, but it is increasingly clear she has failed to do so".

It warns that this will mean ministers having to achieve a fine balancing between giving too little parliamentary scrutiny or too prolonged, in-depth examination to Brexit-related legislation.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "The Government has failed to build a consensus about what form Brexit should take". "Neither side is thinking the other would ever risk a no-deal scenario because of damage to trade, financial stability and geopolitics", he said.

Formal negotiations between the European Union and Britain are likely to begin by the end of May or early June, according to a document published by the Government on Monday.

  • Zachary Reyes