United Kingdom to trigger Brexit on March 29

By the end of next week, after he has received Prime Minister Theresa May's letter, European Council President Donald Tusk should have distributed draft guidelines for the negotiations to the 27 other national governments.

Scottish voters backed remaining in the European Union by 62 percent to 38 percent in the Brexit vote last June, compared to the final result for the whole of Britain of 52 percent to 48 percent.

"We have a plan for Britain", Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday adding that part of that was "delivering on Brexit in getting the right deal for Britain overseas and Europe".

Once Tusk has received the letter, the Polish politician will then consult the other 27 leaders of the Council on the Brexit trigger.

"Next Wednesday, the government will deliver on that decision and formally start the process by triggering Article 50", Brexit secretary David Davis said in a statement Monday.

Tusk said he would issue draft guidelines for the negotiations within 48 hours, and officials said European Union leaders are then likely to meet at a special summit in early May to approve them. The remaining 27 European Union member states would then have to sign off on that move and formally give a mandate to French politician Michel Barnier to conduct the negotiations on their behalf.

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"An interim deal is what many people involved in the Brexit preparatory talks have been suggested, and not just for trade". The move was approved by Parliament two weeks ago when peers and MPs passed unamended a bill giving the prime minister the authority to set the process in motion.

May's closest advisers had been weighing up whether to trigger Article 50 earlier in the month, aware that it would be seen as bad form in European capitals to overshadow this weekend's 60th anniversary celebrations of the signing of the Treaty of Rome.

Russell, the minister for United Kingdom negotiations on Scotland's place in Europe, has been involved in discussions between London and Edinburgh over the Article 50 process as a member of the Joint Ministerial Committee on EU Negotiations.

Tusk's spokesman, Preben Aamann, told CNN that the European Union will require between four to six weeks to consult with the other 27 member states and hammer out an initial negotiating position.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of the finance ministers of the 19-country euro currency area, said he wanted "realism" from May's government. Fresh calls for a second independence referendum in Scotland from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon only intensify the pressure on her.

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