Brexit: Article 50 will be triggered next week

Prime Minister Theresa May is making a visit to Wales before she triggers Article 50 to launch the Brexit process

The British government will invoke Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, which says a member state may "notify the European Council of its intention" to leave the bloc.

The news was relayed in person to the office of European Council President Donald Tusk at around 10:30 a.m. on Monday by the U.K.'s permanent representative to the European Union, Tim Barrow.

Britain's Brexit minister David Davis said in a statement that Britons had approved a "historic decision" to leave the European Union after four decades of membership.

The move will formally trigger Britain's exit from the European Union following a referendum in June previous year.

For Leavers, the research suggests that more people would want to stick with the country's decision and leave even if Brexit negotiations are disappointing. I have also been clear that as we leave the European Union I will work to deliver a deal that works for the whole of the UK.

That summit will draw up a mandate for the European Commission's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, probably allowing talks to begin in earnest in May.

According to BBC News, 10 Downing Street officially announced May's intention to write and submit a formal letter to the European Union announcing her invoking of Article 50.

Negotiations should start "promptly" after the notification, the PM's spokesman said, but acknowledged that it was "obviously right that the EU27 have time to agree their position".

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May's tour started in Wales, and will be followed by visits to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Last year's referendum result, she added, "was not just about leaving the EU" but was a vote for a "change in the way the country works".

But EU negotiators warn it could take two years just to settle the divorce terms; agreeing on a new relationship for the United Kingdom and the EU could take years longer.

But with eight days to go before article 50 is triggered, it was always going to be highly unlikely that anything is given away at this late stage.

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon wants a referendum before a final Brexit deal is sealed with Brussels.

May has sharply criticized that call, and said over the weekend that "now is not the time" for a Scottish vote. However, the European Council wants to sort out Britain's "divorce bill" from the bloc before any future relationship is agreed.

An EU spokesman said it was "ready and waiting" for the letter. Britain hasn't ruled out a payment, but is sure to quibble over the size of the tab.

The BBC's Ben Wright said he expected the Article 50 letter to be short, possibly extending to two pages at most, and for Mrs May to use it to publicly reiterate her general objectives - such as leaving the single market but reaching a mutually beneficial agreement on trade and other issues.

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