The European Commission announced on Monday (March 20) that British Prime Minister Theresa May will write to the European Union on March 29 and trigger Article 50, the formal notification of the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the European Union.
That letter next Wednesday (March 29) will start the clock ticking on a two-year countdown to Brexit and allow negotiations to start between London and Brussels in the coming weeks.
A spokesperson for the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas said the EU executive stood ready to start negotiations.
The move will begin a two-year negotiating period in which the British government and the EU hope to agree on the terms of Britain’s exit and reach a separate deal on the shape of their future relationship, most importantly on the terms of trade between the two.
By the end of next week, after he has received May’s letter, European Council President Donald Tusk should have distributed draft guidelines for the negotiations to the 27 other national governments. Tusk will also summon those 27 leaders for a summit to endorse the final guidelines, probably in early May.
Once those are in place, giving a negotiating mandate to the EU executive, the European Commission, chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier should be able to schedule talks with his British counterpart, Brexit Secretary David Davis.