Britain to trigger Brexit March 29

The Royal Navy’s newest helicopter the Wildcat will oper­ate from a German warship in the Mediterranean

Britain's ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow, also will play a major role, and the Foreign Office will talk to individual member states to try to get them on its side.

The European Commission's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said they must be wrapped up by October 2018 to give the EU and national parliaments time to ratify the deal.

His warning was mirrored in comments made by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who said the United Kingdom would have to accept the deal offered or leave with no deal, after Ms May confirmed next Wednesday as the moment Article 50 would be invoked.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron offered voters a referendum on European Union membership, and in June they voted by 52-48 percent to leave. Next Wednesday, the Government will deliver on that decision and formally start the process by triggering Article 50.

According to Brexit secretary, David Davis, the process of exiting the European Union is "the most important negotiation for this country in a generation".

Donald Tusk, the head of the European Council, said that within 48 hours of the triggering of Article 50, he would present draft guidelines to the remaining 27 member states. May spokesman went on: "After we trigger the 27 will agree their guidelines for negotiations and the Commission will deliver their negotiating mandate". Britain believes it can negotiate the exit agreement and a deal on future relations within the two-year negotiating period, although diplomats are sceptical.

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The Prime Minister was given the authority to trigger Article 50 last week when the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act received royal assent.

In Northern Ireland, which also voted to stay in the European Union, the largest Irish nationalist party, Sinn Fein, has said it wants a referendum on splitting from the United Kingdom and uniting with the Republic of Ireland "as soon as possible". Following the two-year time frame for withdrawal negotiations, it's expected that Brexit will happen in March 2019. Mr. Davis's comments indeed came just hours after Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said that Britain leaving the EU without a trade agreement would be more damaging for the United Kingdom than for the rest of Europe.

Downing Street's announcement of the date - as promised, by the end of March - came after an earlier expected announcement was torpedoed by the declaration of Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to hold a second referendum on independence.

Mrs May is expected to make a statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday shortly after invoking Article 50, setting out her aims. 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.

Sinn Féin leader Mr Adams said Mr Kenny must work to secure special designated status for Northern Ireland within the EU. Brexit Secretary Davis has anyway said that providing forecasts of the repercussions of a no-deal scenario was "impossible" without knowing what mitigation measures could also be put in place.

The SNP's Europe spokesman, Stephen Gethins, said the announcement "shatters beyond fix any notion or position that the Prime Minister is seeking a UK-wide agreement".

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