It's over: Britain officially files for divorce from the European Union

Britains-permanent-representative-to-the-European-Union-Tim-Barrow-delivers-British-Prime-Minister

British Prime Minister Theresa May said there would be "no turning back" after she officially announced her country's planned departure from the European Union.

May, 60, has one of the toughest jobs of any recent British prime minister: holding Britain together in the face of renewed Scottish independence demands, while conducting arduous talks with 27 other European Union states on finance, trade, security and other complex issues.

Leader of the ALDE Guy Verhofstadt speaks during a media conference at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

For the EU, already reeling from successive crises over debt and refugees, the loss of Britain is the biggest blow yet to 60 years of efforts to forge European unity in the wake of two world wars.

Barrow will later take a break from the meeting and hand-deliver a letter signed by Prime Minister Theresa May at around 1130 GMT (7:30 a.m. EDT) to EU Council President Donald Tusk. May had spoken on the phone to EU Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Britain doesn't deny that it will have to pay something, but is sure to quibble over the size of the tab.

The outcome may be a jarring wake-up call to British leaders who say that Brexit will give the country back its rightful place as one of the world's eminent powers. "I think the French establishment is starting to worry about what's going on in France".

"In the talks we must clarify how these close ties can be untangled". Though she did not repeat the same "no deal is better than a bad deal" language, she explicitly referred to the possibility that Britain may leave on March 29, 2019 "without an agreement".

The German leader also called for "fair and constructive" negotiations with Britain, saying that "we, the European Union, would carry out the upcoming talks in a fair and constructive manner".

The two sides also appear to disagree on how the talks will unfold.




Being a member of the European single market not only ensures that we are able to buy goods that come to the United Kingdom from the EU tariff-free.

May wants to negotiate Britain's divorce and the future trading relationship with the European Union within the two-year period, though European Union officials say that will be hard given the depth of the relationship.

"And whilst others are content to moan and whine we want to see that delivery happen and we are confident she will make that happen". "And then we are going to start to see what will our future relations be". I know the United Kingdom wants this to happen more or less at the same time. "And that will be the first discussion that will come up".

What are the red lines?

Firstly I would like to point out two things: you do not have a mandate, much less a clear one, to negotiate away our existing rights and you do not have any right whatsoever to reach any deal which ruins our lives. The EU says it will not compromise on its core "four freedoms": free movement of goods, capital, services and workers.

"The message for Europe is Britain first, everybody else next", said one of those joining the celebrations.

Both sides stand to lose out in the absence of a rapid and comprehensive aviation settlement, Jacobs said.

Barrow, who is Britain's European Union envoy, is taking part in a routine meeting of ambassadors on Wednesday morning. For Britain, it would nearly certainly mean steep tariffs on trade with the bloc.

Earlier, Sinn Fein said its campaign to secure special designated status for Northern Ireland post-Brexit was building momentum across Europe.

"We vote no - that is possible, " Verhofstadt told the BBC recently. "It has happened in a number of other cases that a big global multilateral agreement was voted down by the European Parliament after it was concluded".

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