Britain officially triggers Article 50 to leave EU
The UK has formally handed in its notice to the European Union. British EU envoy Tim Barrow delivered a letter by hand to the European Council this afternoon, triggering Article 50 which starts the formal divorce process from the union.
European Council President Donald Tusk confirmed on Twitter that he had received Britain’s Brexit notification letter on Wednesday, saying: ‘After nine months the UK has delivered Brexit.’
UK Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the House of Commons immediately afterwards.
"A few minutes ago in Brussels, the United Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the EU handed a letter to the President of the European Council on my behalf, confirming the Government’s decision to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union," the Independent cited her as saying.
"This is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back. Britain is leaving the European Union. We are going to make our own decisions and our own laws," the PM said.
She stressed that they are going to take this opportunity to "build a stronger, fairer Britain". May said “continued friendship” with the EU will ensure we are all safer and more prosperous.