Britain to launch Brexit process on Mar 29: Spokesperson

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones left attend a bilateral meeting at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea Wales Monday

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones left attend a bilateral meeting at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea Wales Monday

British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50 on March 29, starting official Brexit negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union, her spokesman has confirmed.

Once Britain has delivered its Article 50 letter to European Council President Donald Tusk in Brussels, EU leaders are expected to reply with their own letter setting out the bloc's negotiating stance.

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis said "Last June, the people of the United Kingdom made the historic decision to leave the EU".

The European Commission, whose chief negotiator Michel Barnier will spearhead the talks with London on behalf of the other 27 member states, said it was ready for the Brexit process.

"There is no queue to join the European Union and we have had several voices over recent times saying that if Scotland wanted to be in the EU then there would be a very open warm reception for that", Sturgeon told Sky News. After that, the European Union will need another few weeks to turn those guidelines into a formal negotiating mandate for Michel Barnier, who will lead the day-to-day talks for the bloc.

Theresa May is expected to visit Wales this week as she commences a tour of the devolved nations ahead of triggering Article 50 within the next fortnight.

Priti Patel, the UK's worldwide development secretary, said: "What this shows is that we are a government that is very focused".

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Scottish voters backed remaining in the European Union by 62 percent to 38 percent in the Brexit vote last June, compared to the final result for the whole of Britain of 52 percent to 48 percent.

It's also not clear what rights the estimated 3 million European Union citizens already working and living in Britain will retain. Few see two years as enough time to agree one and Brussels wants to hold off starting talks until after a divorce deal. May has said she wants to leave the European single market in order to be able to control immigration. We don't know if Britain could change its mind, withdraw its Article 50 notification and stay after all.

It comes as Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister, used her speech at the SNP spring conference to renew her assault on Ms May amid a constitutional standoff between the SNP and Downing Street over a second independence referendum.

Autumn 2018 to Spring 2019 - Just to make things complicated, Scottish government wants independence vote once Brexit deal is clear.

We assumed that there would be a deal on preserving the existing rights for EU living in Britain, and British citizens living in the EU and that Britain and the EU would continue to co-operate on security matters.

May has promised parliament a vote on the final Brexit deal, but warned that rejecting it meant Britain would leave without any agreement.

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