United Kingdom negotiator denies govt is blackmailing European Union on security

Nine months after the shock referendum vote to leave the bloc, Britain handed over a momentous letter to the European Union president in Brussels, triggering Article 50 of the bloc's Lisbon Treaty and firing the starting gun on a two-year countdown towards Brexit.

The Trump administration said on Wednesday that it wanted Britain to remain a strong leader in Europe even as it began its withdrawal from the European Union.

Mrs May tried to continue but the barrage of hysteria from those opposite meant her words were drowned out before she could go any further.

European Council President Donald Tusk on Wednesday cautioned that both Brussels and London have "nothing to win" in the forthcoming "difficult negotiations".

Mrs May said immigration would be controlled but that she would seek to guarantee the rights of European Union nationals living in the United Kingdom and vice versa "as early as we can".

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May will begin to take back control over thousands of European Union laws, under plans created to satisfy the desire of Brexit supporters to put power back in the hands of British legislators. Countries such as France and Germany are particularly interested in ensuring that London is not granted concessions that weaken the integrity of the single market, but those with close political, economic or military ties with the United Kingdom, such as Ireland or Cyprus, will push to accommodate British desires as much as possible.

The fallout followed the delivery of Ms May's historic letter to president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, officially notifying him of the UK's intention to trigger Article 50 and quit the bloc.

"To achieve this, we believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the EU".

"Our first priority will be to minimise the uncertainty caused by the decision of the United Kingdom for our citizens, businesses and Member States", they added.

Leaders of the other 27 European Union nations are holding a summit on April 29 to forge their own response to Brexit, and it could be weeks before formal talks start.

The letter expands on the prime minister's suggestion that more powers could be passed to the devolved administrations.

"What can I add to this?"

After receiving the letter in front of a display of Union Jack and EU flags, Mr Tusk spoke of his sorrow at Europe's rupture, telling Britain: "We already miss you". The E.U. wants Britain to pay a hefty bill - one E.U. leader put it at around $63 billion - to cover retirement payments for E.U. staff and other commitments Britain has agreed to.

  • Zachary Reyes