It's all set. British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Brexit on March 29. It will be the start of two years of negotiations for the UK to finally leave the European Union ( EU).
May's government has told European Council President Donald Tusk of the date. In turn, the EU has said it is also ready for the exit talks. Within two days after the Brexit trigger on March 29, Tusk will send the other EU 27 member countries his draft negotiating guidelines. The formal Brexit talks can then start as early as May.
Brexit is considered as the most important negotiation for the UK in this generation. The UK hopes to get a good deal from the talks that would be favorable to all parties-for UK, the EU and all other friends and allies in the region.
This will be a challenge. May must negotiate terms that would continue the UK's close trade, financial and political relations with other countries in the EU. At the same time, she needs to make sure the UK will achieve the freedom from the EU that the voters for Brexit want.
Nationalism, anti-establishment and anti-immigrant feelings are growing in Western Europe. Many experts say this is what helped Trump win U.S. Presidency. The EU leadership is said to be nervous that other countries in the EU may decide to leave the union, as well. The Dutch showed this strong sentiment in their recent elections. And In France, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen claims that if she wins her presidential bid next month, she will push for France's own exit from the EU.
May has kept quiet about her plans to get the best deal possible for Brexit. A delicate situation. She must make it as painless as possible – mindful that the UK is the fifth largest economy in the world.
Scotland is has been long pushing a vote to leave the UK. Brexit has encouraged more support. May, however, wants to keep the UK strongly united.