The UK government has formally served divorce papers on the European Union, signaling the beginning of the end of a relationship that has endured for 44 years.
Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, confirmed that the UK has triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, beginning a legal process that must end in two years' time with Britain leaving the EU.
"This is an historic moment for which there can be no turning back. Britain is leaving the European Union," May told the House of Commons in London."A few minutes earlier in Brussels, the British Permanent Representative to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow, delivered a six-page formal letter of notification to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, in Brussels.
"The Article 50 process is now under way, and in accordance with the British people, the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union," May said.