Fifteen new bills could be needed to deliver Brexit, report warns

Ms Merkel failed to satisfy the US President with her pledge to lift spending defence spending

Ms Merkel failed to satisfy the US President with her pledge to lift spending defence spending

Britain's ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow, told the office of European Council President Donald Tusk on Monday morning that Britain would trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty next Wednesday, May's spokesman said.

Get your diaries out because Theresa May has announced the date for triggering Article 50: March 29.

Prime Minister Theresa May is set to formally trigger Article 50, the start of the Brexit process on 29 March which will kick off the two years of exit talks.

His warning was mirrored in comments made by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who said the United Kingdom would have to accept the deal offered or leave with no deal, after Ms May confirmed next Wednesday as the moment Article 50 would be invoked. Speaking during a visit to Swansea, Ms May said: "We are going to be out there, negotiating hard, delivering on what the British people voted for".

They will be expressing the concern of thousands of Britons in Italy who are living in a state of uncertainty and alarm over how Brexit - Britain's leaving the European Union - will affect their futures here. Britain believes it can negotiate the exit agreement and a deal on future relations within the two-year negotiating period, although diplomats are sceptical.

Cherry said, "Smaller businesses want to make sure that easy access to the European Union single market and the right talent feature prominently in the forthcoming negotiations". This was approved by Parliament two weeks ago when the Brexit bill was passed, giving the prime minister the power to get the procedure started.

London says the Brexit process is irreversible once Article 50 is triggered, although experts have said there is no legal ban on member states changing their minds before leaving the EU. May could invoke Article 50 without the approval of Parliament. He added that Number 10 now wants negotiations to "start promptly" - once the article is invoked it will be up to the European Union to come back, with an early response expected within 48 hours.

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The formal process is expected to take two years according to an official table setting out deadlines, which - if stuck to - would see the United Kingdom officially become autonomous in 2019.

He will also summon the leaders of the countries for a summit to endorse the final guidelines, expected in early May.

Schinas spoke after the British government earlier the same day confirmed that it would invoke Article 50 of the European Union treaty, which governs the divorce procedure, on 29 March.

Carlisle's John Stevenson said regardless of whether people were leave or remain voters, it is time to accept the outcome and push ahead with getting the best possible Brexit deal.

May also faces political dangers at home, most notably in Scotland, where the first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is seeking another referendum on Scottish independence.

But in his evidence to the committee, Jones said a House of Lords report, published earlier this month, which concluded that leaving the European Union without a deal would mean no legal obligation to pay any financial contribution at all, had been "extremely helpful".

Labour's Keir Starmer said the opposition would hold the government to account throughout the process, claiming the prime minister had failed to provide certainty about her plans or prepare for the "clear dangers" of not reaching a deal at all.

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