U.K. government to trigger Brexit on March 29, seek ‘freest possible trade’

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The U.K. government intends to trigger Article 50, which will begin the process of exiting the European Union, on March 29.

Sir Tim Barrow, the U.K.’s permanent representative to the EU, informed the office of Donald Tusk, the European Council president, that the U.K. intends to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty next week.

The move will trigger at least a two-year process. The U.K. voted to leave the EU in June.

“We are on the threshold of the most important negotiation for this country for a generation,” said David Davis, secretary of state for exiting the European Union, in a news release on the government’s website. “The government is clear in its aims: a deal that works for every nation and region of the U.K. and indeed for all of Europe — a new, positive partnership between the U.K. and our friends and allies in the European Union.”

The government has said it will seek the “freest possible trade” in financial services with remaining member states of the EU following its exit.

A white paper outlining information and proposals on Brexit, published in February, outlined 12 principles for exit, the eighth of which is “ensuring free trade with European markets.”