British Prime Minister Theresa May will formally trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty on Wednesday 29 March, Downing Street has announced.
Sir Tim Barrow, Britain’s ambassador to the European Union (EU) informed the office of European Council President Donald Tusk of the date on Monday morning.
Brexit Secretary David Davis confirmed the decision, saying:
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.
We are on the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation.
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.
Once Article 50 is triggered, the UK will have two years to negotiate its exit deal with the European Union.
Monday’s announcement means the date of the UK’s final exit from the EU is highly likely to be 29 March 2019.