President of the European Council Donald Tusk has said he will issue draft Brexit negotiating guidelines to the other member states within 48 hours of the United Kingdom triggering article 50; in other words, before the end of next week.
The Pound Sterling fell half a cent against the dollar on what Brexit minister David Davis described as a move taking Britain to "the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation". Prime Minister Theresa May will invoke Article 50 of the key European Union treaty, the official start of the two-year divorce process.
The announcement on the timing of Article 50 comes shortly after European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker warned that Britain may have to abandon its hopes of a trade deal if it rejects the terms offered by the EU - which are widely expected to include a "divorce bill" of as much as £50 billion.
The Prime Minister's letter officially notifying the European Council of the UK's intention to quit will set in train a two-year negotiation process expected to lead to Britain leaving the EU on March 29 2019.
Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Monday that "we have been informed in advance". After that, the European Union will need another few weeks to turn those guidelines into a formal negotiating mandate for Michel Barnier, who will lead the day-to-day talks for the bloc. All that is happening is that Britain is following the terms set down in the Lisbon Treaty to trigger formal exit talks.
In response to the news, Mr Tusk tweeted: "Within 48 hours of the United Kingdom triggering Article 50, I will present the draft Brexit guidelines to the EU27 Member States".
May's closest advisers had been weighing up whether to trigger Article 50 earlier in the month, aware that it would be seen as bad form in European capitals to overshadow this weekend's 60th anniversary celebrations of the signing of the Treaty of Rome.
The British government has insisted the Brexit process is irreversible once Article 50 is triggered, although experts have said there is no legal ban on member states changing their minds before they have actually left the European Union.
"The government is clear in its aims", Davis said.
September 18, 2014: Scottish voters decide in a referendum to remain part of the United Kingdom rather than become an independent country.
Dr White said the Bills, dealing with issues such as immigration procedures, would be on top of the Great Repeal Bill, which will incorporate European Union law into British law. May received permission from the Parliament Houses last week to begin the negotiations.
"The taoiseach has previously expressed impatience over the lack of clarity from Britain on Brexit", said Mr Adams.
"We think the imminent activation of Article 50 will trigger hard trade negotiations, which is not properly priced into the currency", Michael Cahill, New York-based strategist at Goldman Sachs, wrote in a note to clients. With more than five years' experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while conducting macroeconomic commentary.