2-Year Clock Starts Ticking: Article 50 Triggered Today

UK begins process to leave the EU
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2017 5:36 AM CDT
Updated Mar 29, 2017 6:44 AM CDT
UK Prepares to Pull Brexit 'Trigger'
A European and a Union flag fly alongside Nelsons Column during an Anti Brexit campaigners march towards Parliament in London, Saturday March 25, 2017. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to start the process of leaving the European Union on Wednesday March 29.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

The UK is preparing to say adios, au revoir, and auf wiedersehen to the European Union after 44 years of membership. Prime Minister Theresa May signed a letter Tuesday night invoking Article 50, and the EU received it Wednesday, formally triggering two years of negotiations leading up to Britain's departure from the bloc, the BBC reports. May was expected to address British lawmakers, calling the historic moment a "time for the country to come together" and promising to fight for "the right deal for every person in this country."

Pro-Brexit British newspapers including the Sun, which beamed the message "Dover and Out" onto the famous white cliffs, are rejoicing, though others have sounded notes of caution, the AP reports. "We are in a plane being flown by members of the EU and we're about to jump out and we've got a parachute that was designed by the people flying the plane and they designed it in a way to deter anybody else jumping out," says former top civil servant Gus O'Donnell. EU budget commissioner Guenther Oettinger described the letter as "a negative message for Europe as a whole, for the UK especially" and predicted months of difficult negotiations ahead. (More Brexit stories.)

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