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Negotiations to begin

May could signal start of EU exit on Tuesday

Theresa May

May: Tuesday trigger

Prime Minister Theresa May could start the formal process of negotiating Britain’s exit from the European Union as early as this Tuesday.

Mrs May will make a statement to parliament on the Brussels summit that day, amid growing speculation that she will use it to signal the beginning of the two-year negotiation period.

She has already indicated that talks are due to start before the end of March and Commons sources say they will almost certainly begin by the end of the week.

Donald Tusk, the EU Council president, said the EU is “well prepared for the whole procedure”, as Europe’s political leaders plan for life without the UK in the trading bloc.

“I have no doubt that we will be ready within 48 hours, I think it is a proper time to react,” he told a news conference.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has expressed his hope that Britain might one day return to the EU.

He said: “I don’t like Brexit, because I would like to be in the same boat as the British. The day will come when the British will re-enter the boat, I hope.”

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