British PM Theresa May signs letter to trigger Brexit from EU

British Prime Minister Theresa May on 28 March 2017 signed the letter that will trigger Brexit from the European Union (EU). The formal notification that seeks to leave EU was signed by May at 10 Downing Street office. The letter is an official notification to other 27 European Union members that Britain has invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This letter was delivered to European Council President Donald Tusk by British ambassador to the EU Sir Tim Barrow on 29 March 2017.

Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that was invoked with the sign provides both sides a time-limit of two years to reach an agreement. This means, the letter also sets the clock for a two-year negotiation process for Britain’s relationship with the EU as a non-member. Unless that time-frame is extended, Britain will have to leave the economic bloc by 29 March 2019.

After signing the letter, the Prime Minster chaired a cabinet meeting before making a statement in the House of Commons confirming the countdown to trigger Brexit from the EU has begun. The signed letter is a follow-up step of the 23 June 2016 referendum which resulted in a vote to leave the European Union. In short, the notification of Article 50 marks the first formal step in the direction of Brexit after the June referendum in favour of Britain leaving the EU.

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