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Message delivered: May triggers Article 50

Tim Barrow and Donald Tusk on Wednesday.
Tim Barrow and Donald Tusk on Wednesday. / REUTERS
  • The UK's ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow, handed over the official communciation of Britain's exit from the EU to Donald Tusk on Wednesday

Nine months after the UK's referendum on European Union membership resulted in a vote to leave the bloc, the UK's ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow, handed over the official communication of Britain's exit from the EU to European Council president Donald Tusk on Wednesday.

On Tuesday night the prime minister Theresa May signed a six-page letter that was hand delivered to the European Council on Wednesday by Barrow, meaning that the UK has started divorce proceedings with the EU.

During the last Prime Minister's Questions before the letter was handed over, May promised to "represent every person in the whole United Kingdom" during the negotiations.

During a press statement after receiving the notification, Mr Tusk said; “There is no reason to pretend this is a happy day.” However, he went on to say that Brexit had made the remaining 27 countries; “more determined and more united.”

There was mixed reaction in the UK, with former UKIP leader, Nigel Farage expressing that he was “thrilled” that the UKhad, “passed the point of no return,” while anti-Brexit protesters, including a giant effigy of the Prime Minister, gathered on Parliament Square as Theresa May delivered her Article 50 speech to MPs.