Dubai – British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50 on March 29 to mark the official Brexit negotiations between the UK and the European Union, her spokesman has confirmed.
The UK notified the EU on Monday of its intention to invoke Article 50 and will now prepare for a lengthy legislative and political program which promises to be anything but clear-cut.
“Last June, the people of the UK made the historic decision to leave the EU. Next Wednesday, the government will deliver on that decision and formally start the process by triggering Article 50,” Brexit secretary David Davis said in a statement Monday.
“We are on the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation,” he added. “The government is clear in its aims: a deal that works for every nation and region of the UK and indeed for all of Europe — a new, positive partnership between the UK and our friends and allies in the European Union.”
In response, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, tweeted that he would present draft Brexit guidelines to the remaining 27 EU member states within 48 hours.
The announcement comes a day after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned that other member states will “realize it’s not worth leaving” the EU after they see the deal the UK gets.
The trigger day, which is next Wednesday, will come as the EU celebrates its 60th anniversary next week.
The loss of Britain to the bloc has created speculation that other states might decide to follow suit, something Juncker strongly disagreed with in an interview published on Sunday.