Article 50 Will Be Triggered on 29 March, Government Confirms

The official plan for Brexit is laid out in an official Government document

Britons voted by 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the European Union in a referendum in June 2016.

The news was relayed in person to the office of European Council President Donald Tusk at around 10:30 a.m. on Monday by the U.K.'s permanent representative to the European Union, Tim Barrow.

The Prime Minister's letter officially notifying the European Council of the UK's intention to quit will set in train a two-year negotiation process expected to lead to Britain leaving the EU on March 29 2019. Few see two years as enough time to agree one and Brussels wants to hold off starting talks until after a divorce deal.

"Next Wednesday, the government will deliver on that decision and formally start the process by triggering Article 50", he said.

Britons voted in a June referendum to leave the European Union after more than 40 years of membership.

The letter May sends next week will plunge Britain into a period of intense uncertainty.

The report anticipates the new bills will be in addition to the Great Repeal Bill, which will scrap the 1972 European Communities Act that paved the way for the United Kingdom to enter the then-European Economic Community, ending the legal authority of EU law.

May has signaled she will prioritize Britain's ability to control immigration from European Union countries, a critical element in driving pro-Brexit sentiment.

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Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon threw a wrench in those plans last Monday by announcing a push for a new independence referendum from the United Kingdom, which also includes England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It comes as Mrs May dismissed calls for a potential second independence referendum for Scotland before the Brexit deal is finalised. In the same Brexit vote in which most Britons chose to leave the EU, Scottish voters mostly wanted to stay.

May lashed out at Sturgeon's announcement, countering that right "now is not the time" for Scotland to take a vote.

Priti Patel, the UK's global development secretary, said: "What this shows is that we are a government that is very focused".

Conflicts are likely to arise soon. European leaders have drawn a tough line, signaling they will not allow Britain to enjoy the benefits of EU membership but not bear the responsibilities.

British negotiators are sure to quibble over the size of that tab. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said a "vast" bill is unreasonable, and suggested that May should follow the "illustrious precedent" of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who successfully sought a rebate from the bloc in 1984.

That prospect alarms many British businesses. Despite mutual threats of no deal, few want such chaos.

May has promised parliament a vote on the final Brexit deal, but warned that rejecting it meant Britain would leave without any agreement. Some experts say the process could take a decade.

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