May to trigger Brexit process on March 29

UK Prime Minister Theresa May

Stephen Gethins, the SNP's Europe spokesman, said: "Today's announcement that the Prime Minister will push ahead and unilaterally trigger Article 50 shatters beyond fix any notion or position that the Prime Minister is seeking a UK-wide agreement".

But May has repeatedly ruled out an early vote, and on Monday her spokesman told British journalists that there was "not going to be one".

European Union officials have previously said that a notification just before May's self-imposed end-March deadline could mean a summit in early May was the most likely timing.

May has already announced that she will make a statement to the House of Commons shortly after invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. We want negotiations to start promptly.

"On the day Theresa May is travelling the country claiming she wants to bring the United Kingdom together, she lets it be known she is about to unleash division and bitterness".

Brexit Minister David Davis said the withdrawal process will take Britain to "the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation".

"The government is clear in its aims", he said.

"I have also been clear that as we leave the European Union I will work to deliver a deal that works for the whole of the UK".

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.

Asked if the devolved governments had been informed this notification was being given on Monday, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We are informing you all essentially now". Under this scenario, talks are likely to begin in earnest in May. "There is a timetable that everyone has bought into it".

The move comes nine months after Britain voted 51.9 per cent to 48.1 per cent in favour of Brexit in a referendum on June 23, 2016.

Despite meetings of the devolved nation leaders in Westminster she said Theresa May has so far displayed few signs of taking on board Wales' needs.

Barnier has said that he expects a deal to be agreed in 2018 and ratified in 2019.

A transitional deal for about five years is certainly an option.

These terms may include a £50bn ($NZ87.5bn) "divorce bill" and Mr Juncker said Brexit could bring the remaining 27 members closer together: "They will all see from the UK's example that leaving the European Union is a bad idea". "And it is good to know that Prime Minister Theresa May shares this view". The UK won't be privy to internal European Union discussions pertaining to our withdrawal, though. May and her government ministers continue to insist that the United Kingdom will make a success of Brexit, emerging with favorable terms from the negotiations and ensuring continued access to the single market.

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