March 20 (UPI) — Britain will formally begin protocols to leave the European Union on March 29, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said Monday.
The official notification will declare that negotiations should begin as soon as possible, May’s spokesman said. On Monday, Sir Tim Barrow, Britain’s EU representative, notified European Council President Donald Tusk to expect a letter invoking Article 50, the parliamentary procedure triggering the departure process, on March 29. Article 50 forbids any talk on the terms of departure until formal notification of withdrawal is given.
It is expected that the 27 other EU member nations will agree to the start date, with an initial response from them with 48 hours, the BBC reported.
A two-year timetable is expected to be followed, meaning Britain’s official break with the EU should occur in March 2019. In 2016, British citizens narrowly approved the move, known as the Brexit, in a referendum.
David Davis, Britain’s Brexit secretary called the departure from the EU “the most important negotiation for this country in a generation. The government is clear in its aims: a deal that works for every nation and region of the U.K. and indeed for all of Europe, a new, positive partnership between the U.K. and our friends and allies in the European Union.”