Britain sends formal letters of withdrawal from EU

World Today

The U.K. has finally triggered Brexit nine months after the country voted to leave in a referendum. A letter beginning what will be two-years of talks has been handed to European Union Council President Donald Tusk.

CGTN’s Richard Bestic reports.

Follow Richard Bestic on Twitter @bestic_richard

Britain sends formal letters of withdrawal from EU

The U.K. has finally triggered Brexit nine months after the country voted to leave in a referendum. CGTN's Richard Bestic reports.

In the British Parliament, Prime Minister Theresa May has been telling lawmakers Brexit is a chance to boost British trade around the world.

Campaigners against leaving fear being shut out of the EU’s lucrative free trade zone.

Ahead of years of tough talking with the EU, Theresa May said now’s the time for the country to unite.

“For as we face the opportunities ahead of us, on this momentous journey, our shared values; interests and ambitions can and must bring us together,” May said.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said the letter triggering Brexit marked a sad day for Europe and the U.K.

“There is no reason to pretend that this is a happy day either in Brussels nor in London after all most Europeans, including almost half of British voters, wish that we would stay together not drift apart,” Tusk said.

The apparently insurmountable Brexit challenge facing the U.K. is squaring the EU’s strict Freedom of Movement rules with access to the trading bloc’s tariff free markets.

U.K. government ministers met one final time before  triggering Brexit, aware that ahead are two years of tough and complex talking to extricate every level of the UK economy from the EU after more than four decades.