LONDON — Article 50, the formal notification of Britain’s intention to leave the EU, will be triggered on March 29, a Downing Street spokesperson confirmed on Monday morning.
The notification will take the form of a letter addressed to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.
The UK government informed Tusk at 10:30 a.m. (GMT) on Monday morning.
“The EU’s permanent representative to the EU informed the office of Donald Tusk that it’s the UK’s intention to trigger Article 50 on March 29,” a spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May said.
“There will be a letter and she will notify President Tusk in writing. That process is set out in Article 50 herself. The prime minister has confirmed that she will give a statement to parliament as well.”
The spokesperson added that Downing Street expects a response from EU up to 48 hours afterwards and hopes that divorce negotiations with the 28-nation bloc can get underway as soon as possible.
“After we trigger the 27 [other EU countries] will agree their guidelines for negotiations and the Commission’s negotiating mandate. President Tusk has said he expects there to be an initial response within 48 hours.
“We want negotiations to start promptly but it’s obviously right that the 27 have an opportunity to consider their position.”
The European Commission responded by saying “everything is ready on this side… we are waiting for notification” while Tusk tweeted that he’ll present the EU’s draft Brexit plan to member states within 48 hours of Article being triggered.