Prime Minister Theresa May will file formal Brexit divorce papers on Wednesday, pitching the United Kingdom into the unknown and triggering years of uncertain negotiations that will test the endurance of the European Union.
Theresa May will issue an interest to the nation to “come together”
“Now that the decision has been made to leave the EU, it is time to come together,” Ms May said, according to comments supplied by her office.
l represent every person in the whole United Kingdom — young and old, rich and poor, city, town, country and all the villages and hamlets in between.”
Nine months after the divisive Brexit choice last June, the Prime Minister will formally trigger Article 50 in a letter that will be hand conveyed in Brussels.
“After nine months the UK has delivered. #Brexit,” Tim Barrow, Britain’s ambassador to the European Union, tweeted after he received the letter, referring to Britain’s shock June 23, 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU.
Days after the EU’s 60th birthday, Britain will turn into the main nation ever to look for a separation, striking a blow at the heart of the union produced from the fiery remains of World War II.
Britain’s finance minister, Philip Hammond, said he was confident the country would negotiate a customs arrangement with the EU that would allow for borders to be as frictionless as possible after Brexit.
“It is not in the interests of anybody on the continent of Europe to have lines of trucks,” Hammond said, adding that he did not recognise some of the large numbers being spoken about in Brussels that some officials say Britain may have to pay to the EU as it exits.
In the French media, the response was less celebratory. The Libération newspaper led with the headline: “We miss you already! Or do we…” over a picture of a guardsman wearing a bearskin hat, a traditional symbol of Britain.
The Sun, Britain’s most popular newspaper, projected giant messages to Europe including “Dover and Out”, “Goodbye” and “See EU Later” onto the white cliffs of Dover facing the continent.
Global banks such as Goldman Sachs are considering moving some staff out of Britain due to Brexit, and some major companies and banks could use the Article 50 trigger date to update investors on their plans.
“It’s bad news for everybody. It’s a wedge pushed into the European project,” French centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron told Europe 1 radio.
The pro-EU Macron has struck a firm line on Brexit, saying he would ensure Britain gains no undue advantages outside the Union.
“No one knows how this is going to go,” said City worker Nicola Gibson. “It’s a gamble, it’s a risk.”
“When I sit around the negotiating table in the months ahead, I will