Theresa May will begin the two-year countdown to Brexit on March 29 when she triggers Article 50, kicking off a frantic period of legislation in Westminster and negotiation with Brussels.
On Monday Downing Street pre-announced the date for the start of Brexit, a move partly intended to prepare markets for next week’s notification. The British prime minister will notify Donald Tusk, European Council president, on Wednesday of Britain’s intention to leave the EU. Brexit would take place by March 29 2019 unless the UK and all EU member states agree to extend divorce talks.
The pound dropped 0.4 per cent in less than an hour following the announcement of the Article 50 date, and fell further in afternoon trading.
Formal notification of the invoking of Article 50 is likely to be accompanied by a statement from Mrs May to the country, possibly from the steps of Downing Street, and another to the House of Commons. The prime minister is expected to set out Britain’s negotiating objectives in broad terms.