The BBC reports:
Prime Minister Theresa May is to officially notify the European Union next Wednesday that the UK is leaving. Downing Street said she would write a letter to the European Council, adding that it hoped negotiations on the terms of exit and future relations could then begin as quickly as possible.
The move comes nine months after a referendum in which the UK voted to leave by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1%. An EU spokesman said it was “ready and waiting” for the letter. Under the Article 50 process, talks on the terms of exit and future relations are not allowed until the UK formally tells the EU it is leaving.
If all goes according to the two year negotiations allowed for in the official timetable, Brexit should happen in March 2019. A No 10 spokesman said the UK’s Ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow, informed the European Council, headed by President Donald Tusk, earlier on Monday of the date that Article 50 would be triggered. Mrs May is expected to make a statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday shortly after invoking Article 50, setting out her aims.