UK files for divorce from the EU, triggering 2 years to Brexit

March 29: Brexit will be formally triggered when the letter is hand-delivered to EU Council President Donald Tusk at around 1130 GMT (7:30 a.m. EDT).

He said the letter builds on the position the Prime Minister has already set out, indicating that the United Kingdom would leave the single market and would not remain a "full member" of the European customs union.

"This is a historic moment on which there is no turning back".

EU Council President Donald Tusk has said the United Kingdom is already being missed after receiving the official letter triggering Article 50, adding: "thank you and goodbye". "We're going to make our own decisions and our own laws, we're going to take control of the things that matter most to us".

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said in January that the Brexit negotiations will be "very, very, very hard".

The discussion alone of Britain's exit bill is "certainly" going to provoke "a dogged fight", Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said in an emailed statement on Wednesday in Vienna.

"There is no reason to pretend this is a happy day", said Tusk in a statement that followed May's address to lawmakers.

"Failing to stand up for European values would be a costly mistake", she said.

May's plans for Brexit have been complicated by the Scottish Parliament, which this week voted to approve a plan to hold a second referendum on independence from the United Kingdom.

Even if Britain does manage to make a deal with the European Union, the accord is likely to be partial or transitional. During a speech later, he said, there was "no reason to pretend this is a happy day", but stressed that the priority now was to minimise costs for European Union citizens and member states.

But for all the excitement of a big red bus, high profile poster campaigns and street stalls across the country, the actual mechanics of starting Brexit were a lot more mundane.

The low-priced airline also said it was close to announcing its license application for a EU Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) that will ensure it can maintain its flying rights within the EU once Britain leaves.

The two sides also appear to disagree on how the talks will unfold. The documents were presented to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk by the British Permanent Representative to the EU Tim Barrow.

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty allows a member state to notify the European Union of its withdrawal and obliges the European Union to try to negotiate a "withdrawal agreement" with that state.

Even without the potential complications of Scotland breaking away, the process initiated by Article 50 is a complex one.

"If, however, we leave the European Union without an agreement the default position is that we would have to trade on World Trade Organisation terms", she said.

"There will be consequences to leaving", she said.

"It could contribute to a general sense of, 'We better think again about this, '" he said.

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

The UK has said it wants an "early agreement" to guarantee the rights of European Union citizens living in the UK and those of British nationals living overseas.

  • Zachary Reyes