Article 50: Theresa May to trigger Brexit process next Wednesday

If so, it could have to be ratified by as many as 38 national and regional parliaments across the European Union, with any of them effectively holding a veto.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, announced that he would call a summit on the last Saturday in April to allow the EU's 27 remaining members to agree on Brexit guidelines, a broad-brush outline of the political principles that will guide them through the next two years of negotiations.

Guaranteeing long-term rights of Europeans in Britain after Brexit is EU's "absolute priority" from the onset of talks.

The so-called "divorce bill" is expected to be one of the first hurdles May's government faces when she triggers Article 50 and embarks on negotiations with the bloc.

Prime Minister Theresa May will officially notify the European Union of the UK's intention to leave on 29 March.

"The sooner we reach a deal on an orderly withdrawal, the sooner we can prepare for the future relationship", he said, adding that leaving hard divorce issues until the last moment was playing with failure.

European Union officials are downbeat because they doubt that Mrs May has enough political capital to make the compromises necessary to secure...

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"Our main priority for the negotiations must be to create as much certainty and clarity as possible for all citizens, companies and member states that will be negatively affected by Brexit, as well as our important partners and friends around the world, like Japan". "We must do serious legal work on this with the United Kingdom", he said. Therefore we must do everything we can to make sure the process of divorce is the least painful for the EU.

The guidelines that the EU leaders will adopt will govern how Mr. Barnier approaches Brexit negotiations, along with a more detailed set of rules from the European Commission.

Theresa May declared that no Brexit deal was better than a bad deal.

Only if Barnier brings the EU27 a satisfactory result on that front, officials say, will leaders consider broadening his mandate to include a future trade deal or other partnership agreement.

Brexit will put British patients at the "back of the queue" for vital new drugs, the Government has been warned - forcing them to wait up to two years longerA medicines regulator has raised the alarm over a likely decision to pull out of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), as well as the EU itself. ealth Secretary Jeremy Hunt dropped the bombshell, when he said he expected the United Kingdom would quit the EMA - because it is subject to rulings by the European Court of Justice.

"Providing for a transition period will be important for all relevant parties", Abe said.

Time will now be short for Britain to negotiate the terms of its departure and a future trade deal by the deadline of March 2019.

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