Brexit begins: Prime Minister Theresa May has now signed the Article 50 letter

Rebecca Smith
Brexit is very nearly a go
Brexit is very nearly a go (Source: Getty)

The Prime Minister has now signed the letter formally starting the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.

Giving official notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, it will be delivered to European Council President Donald Tusk tomorrow.

Read more: May begins historic Brexit process with call for unity

Theresa May will tell MPs in the Commons that this will mark "the moment for the country to come together".

Earlier this evening May rang Angela Merkel, Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk to "update them" ahead of her letter announcing Britain's intention of leaving the European Union.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "In separate calls, they agreed that a strong EU was in everyone's interests and that the UK would remain a close and committed ally."

Read more: Prime Minister rings Tusk, Merkel and Juncker on eve of Article 50 trigger

Theresa May called the German Chancellor, the President of the European Council, and the President of the European Commission to update them, ahead of her letter triggering Article 50 and kicking off Brexit negotiations, being delivered tomorrow.

Read more: Article 50: Here's what will actually happen tomorrow

“They also agreed on the importance of entering into negotiations in a constructive and positive spirit, and of ensuring a smooth and orderly exit process," Number 10 said. "The Chancellor, the European Council President, and the European Commission President thanked the Prime Minister for her calls."

The UK’s ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow, will hand-deliver the notification letter to the European Council.

From the notification date the UK will then have two years to negotiate the terms of exit. If this process is followed correctly the UK will have left the EU officially by the start of April 2019.

Read more: Three crucial things UK tech wants after Article 50 is triggered

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