By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
The U.K. will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on March 29 -- marking the formal beginning of Britain’s departure from the European Union -- the government confirmed on Monday.
The U.K.’s ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Farrow, is reported to have notified the EU that it will receive a letter formally beginning the U.K.’s exit process from the 28-country bloc.
Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis, also said May would trigger the Brexit legislation next week.
He said: “Last June, the people of the U.K. made the historic decision to leave the EU. Next Wednesday, the government will deliver on that decision and formally start the process by triggering Article 50.”
Prime Minister Theresa May, who is in Cardiff as part of meetings with the U.K.’s devolved governments, is expected to make a statement on March 29 in the House of Commons.
At a meeting with Wales’s First Minister Carwyn Jones, May said her government would work for a good Brexit deal for the whole of Britain, but said she would work to keep the U.K. together.
“From my first day on the steps of Downing Street, I made clear my determination to strengthen and sustain the precious Union. I have also been clear that as we leave the European Union I will work to deliver a deal that works for the whole of the U.K.”
May will meet Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon whose Scottish National Party is seeking a second independence referendum.
Scottish voters backed remaining in the EU during last June’s Brexit referendum.
Sturgeon accused May of not listening to Scotland’s worries about the Brexit process. May has already said she would reject a second independence vote.
Meanwhile, the value of the pound sterling dropped after the date for triggering Article 50 was announced.
It was down 0.05 percent against the U.S. dollar at $1.2386, after the announcement.
May is also expected to meet representatives of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Fein, the two main parties which emerged as the winners in an Assembly election held earlier in March.
May will focus on post-Brexit border worries with the Republic of Ireland and talks on the stalled power-sharing administration in Northern Ireland.
U.K. voters decided to leave the 28-member EU in a referendum held last June.
Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU.