AAA  Mar. 20, 2017 8:22 AM ET
The Latest: EU chief promises quick movement on Brexit talks
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(AP) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

European Council President Donald Tusk says he will present draft guidelines for the negotiations on Britain's departure from the bloc within two days of London notifying its intention to leave on March 29.

Tusk has tweeted that "within 48 hours of the UK triggering Article 50, I will present the draft Brexit guidelines to the EU 27 member states."

By triggering Article 50 of the EU's governing treaty, Britain will set in a motion a process that is expected to see it officially leave in early 2019.

Once the draft negotiating guidelines have been accepted, the European Commission will legally recommend the starting of talks. The remaining 27 EU member states would then have to sign off on that move and formally give a mandate to French politician Michel Barnier to conduct the negotiations on their behalf.

That process is likely to take at least a month, as a summit of EU leaders must be called.


12 p.m.

The European Commission says it has been informed in advance of Britain's plans to trigger its exit from the EU on March 29 and stands ready to help launch the negotiations.

Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Monday that "we have been informed in advance. We are ready to begin negotiations."

He said that "everything is ready on this side," and that the EU's executive arm stands ready to play its role once the letter of notification is actually sent.


11:40 a.m.

Britain's government says it will trigger Article 50, signaling Britain's departure from the European Union, on March 29.

The Department for Exiting the European Union said in a statement that Britain's permanent representative to the EU, Tim Barrow, informed the European Council President Donald Tusk of the timing on Monday morning. The notification of triggering Article 50 will come in the form of a letter.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said in a statement that the country is "on the threshold of the most important negotiation" for a generation.

Associated Press
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