Brexit Day will be March 29. Theresa May to start EU divorce next week

PUBLISHED: 12:11 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:30 20 March 2017

Theresa May will trigger Article 50 on March 29. Niall Carson/PA Wire

Theresa May will trigger Article 50 on March 29. Niall Carson/PA Wire

Theresa May has announced March 29 is the day she will trigger Article 50 - the formal process for leaving the European Union.

The clock will start ticking on negotiations once the Prime Minister has sent a letter giving the European Union formal notice that Britain wants to depart from the political bloc.

A self-imposed deadline of the end of March was set by Mrs May at her party conference last year, but her spokesman confirmed the date had now been set.

The law giving Mrs May the power to trigger Article 50 was passed with no conditions earlier this month.

It is supposed to take two years for Britain to leave the European Union after Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty has been triggered, although it could take longer to agree the terms of the deal.

A raft of complex negotiations will begin about our relationship with the EU after exit.

An agreement will have to be reached with the 27 other European Union member states. They all have a veto over the conditions of leaving.

Under the letter of the law of the Lisbon Treaty, two years after its activation, the UK will no longer be a member of the EU, whether or not a deal has been struck.

European Council President Donald Tusk has said he will need just 48 hours to respond to the UK with “draft guidelines” for the negotiations.

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