The United Kingdom officially invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on Wednesday, beginning a two-year exit procedure from the European Union.
British Prime Minister Theresa May sent a six-page letter to Donald Tusk, the European Council president, who formally announced the Brexit decision. Negotiations will now commence “between May’s government and the EU, which will involve everything from deals on trade, migration, education and healthcare,” CNN reported.
Tusk lamented the move, and stressed that “there is no reason to pretend that this is a happy day, neither in Brussels nor in London. After all, most Europeans, including almost half the British voters, wish that we would stay together, not drift apart.”
The cable news outlet also pointed out that “the EU is the UK’s biggest trading partner, and experts have warned that striking a comprehensive trade deal in two years will be unlikely.”
May’s letter came a day after Scotland’s parliament voted in favor of a new independence referendum before the U.K. leaves the European Union. The Scottish people voted against Brexit by a margin of 62 percent to 38 percent during the June 2016 referendum.
Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, criticized May’s move in a Wednesday post on Twitter:
Today, the PM will take the UK over a cliff with no idea of the landing place. Scotland didn’t vote for it and our voice has been ignored.
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) March 29, 2017
[image via screengrab]
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