The referendum exposed geographical and social divisions in Britain.
In response, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, tweeted that he would present draft Brexit guidelines to the remaining 27 EU member states withing 48 hours. The European parliament also will have a say, giving consent to the deal. Article 50 is the formal notification of the UK's intention to leave - the start of a divorce process which lasts for two years. What happens next is up to the EU. A spokesperson said that May will write a letter to the EU's 27 other members to express her intent to have the negotiations begin swiftly.
"The phony period is almost over, and the real work of negotiations are about to begin", McFadden said.
Brexit minister David Davis has said there would be no sudden drop in numbers, as it would take years to fill low-skilled jobs in hospitality, social care and agriculture now done by immigrants. Another hiccup could be Germany's September election, which will determine whether Chancellor Angela Merkel gets another term. He'll receive direction from the Council, which represents the leaders of the member states. She has been vocal that Britain is heading for a "bad deal" on Brexit and apparently wants out.
May has promised parliament a vote on the final Brexit deal, but warned that rejecting it meant Britain would leave without any agreement. Britain hasn't ruled out a payment, but is sure to quibble over the size of the tab. Interestingly, the European Union also wants to get this done quickly.
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Germany, whose militaristic past has led it traditionally to be reticent on defense matters, now spends 1.2 per cent of GDP. The alliances's roughly $2 billion operating budget is paid by fixed apportions across the 28 allied members.
Under the terms of Article 50, Britain will cease to be an European Union member in March 2019.
Jean Claude Juncker, as European Commission president, will oversee the process, while Barnier and his taskforce of negotiators deal with the United Kingdom government for the next two years.
May has suggested that if talks stall she could walk away, saying that "no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain".
Ahead of the meeting, Mrs May said: "From my first day on the steps of Downing Street, I made clear my determination to strengthen and sustain the precious Union".
The law is vague on the specifics, perhaps intentionally - no country has ever invoked Article 50 in the past, and the European Union long viewed the possibility of a country leaving as an unlikely and unwanted possibility.