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March 25, 2017

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Britain to formally trigger Article 50 on March 29

LONDON -- Britain's government will begin the process of leaving the European Union on March 29, starting the clock on the two years to complete the most important negotiation for a generation.

Britain's ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow, informed the European Council President Donald Tusk of the timing on Monday morning, the Department for Exiting the European Union said. The notification for triggering Article 50 of a key EU treaty will come in the form of a letter delivered to Tusk — though it was unclear what form the letter would take.

"We are on the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation," Brexit secretary David Davis said. "The government is clear in its aims: a deal that works for every nation and region of the U.K. and indeed for all of Europe — a new, positive partnership between the U.K. and our friends and allies in the European Union."

The office of Prime Minister Theresa May said that she will make a statement in the House of Commons on the day Article 50 is triggered. The announcement came after May pushed through legislation to start the negotiations to start withdrawal.

The European Commission said it stood ready to help launch the negotiations.

"Everything is ready on this side," commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said.

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