Brexit Triggered By Theresa May's Letter To European Union — Future Of EU

"Today the government acts on the democratic will of the British people".

Sir Tim Barrow, the UK's permanent representative to the European Union, will hand the letter triggering formal negotiations to Tusk at around 1.30pm on Wednesday.

"In my opinion, this is the greatest moment in modern British history", said Brendan Chilton, general secretary of the pro-Brexit group Labour Leave.

Some analysts said the actual triggering of Article 50 would only have symbolic significance for investors, with the real driver for sterling being how negotiations with the European Union will play out, and the health of the British economy going forward.

Ryanair said that as it plans its flights 12 months in advance, there are now just 12 months to go until it completes its summer 2019 schedule.

Shortly before a Cabinet meeting, British Chancellor Philip Hammond said the letter sets the "right tone" and sends the "right signals" to European leaders about how the United Kingdom wants to conduct the negotiations that will decide the country's future.

Hammond was repeatedly pressed on what would happen if the two years of talks between Britain and the European Union foreseen by Article 50 went by and no deal was reached, but he refused to be drawn.

"We should engage with one another constructively and respectfully, in a spirit of honest cooperation", she wrote. The final settlement has to be approved by a "qualified majority" of European Union members (excluding Britain).

It is even more tumultuous for Britain.

European leaders have also warned that Britain cannot get a better deal with Europe when it is outside the EU than when it was inside, amid fears Brexit could encourage other nations to leave the bloc.

Key EU figures agreed to enter into Brexit talks in a "positive spirit" during a series of telephone calls with Mrs May on Tuesday evening.

Within 48 hours, the European Commission is expected to issue "draft negotiation guidelines", which will be sent to the 27 remaining states for consultation.

As in many divorces, the first area of conflict is likely to be money.

British negotiators are sure to quibble over the size of the tab.

"From time to time we will need more, from time to time we will need less", he said on the BBC this week.

"I am very confident we will not get an outcome that is a worse case outcome for everybody - that would be ridiculous", he said. "You are either in or out". The two sides can't seem to agree on anything. British officials want the two things discussed simultaneously.

Without a new trade agreement, Britain would fall back on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, which could mean higher export tariffs and other barriers.

The PM was forced to consult Parliament before invoking Article 50 after it lost a legal challenge in the Supreme Court, but it secured the backing of most MPs earlier this month.

What happens if they can't reach an agreement? Some say it could take a decade.

For the financial center in London, that could signal a slow steam toward the exit as banks based there could lose "passporting" rights, or the ability to provide services to the rest of Europe.

Gus O'Donnell, the U.K.'s former top civil servant, was less certain.

She will start to find out soon whether that is wishful thinking.

Talks will be held in Brussels, but the language they will be held in is still unclear.

"But while the clock is now ticking on a Hard Brexit -the good news is it can still be stopped".

"Of course they can come here after today", he said.

  • Salvatore Jensen