POLITICS

Donald Tusk Tells Britain 'We Already Miss You' After Theresa May Triggers Article 50 To Begin Brexit Talks

EU chief bids emotional farewell to UK.

29/03/2017 13:49 | Updated 29 March 2017

Donald Tusk has bid an emotional farewell to the United Kingdom after Theresa May triggered Article 50 and begun the formal two year Brexit process.

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, a downbeat president of the European Council told the people of the UK: “We already miss you. Thank you and goodbye.”

“There’s no reason to pretend this is a happy day - neither in Brussels or London,” he said.

“There is nothing to win in this process and I am talking about both sides. In essence, this is about damage control.”

Tusk was speaking moments after Sir Tim Barrow, the UK’s ambassador to the EU, formally notified Brussels of the Brexit decision at 12.25pm today when he handed over a letter signed by May.

Theresa May’s Article 50 letter in full:

In her letter to Tusk, the prime minister said: “We are leaving the European Union, but we are not leaving Europe - and we want to remain committed partners and allies to our friends across the continent.”

May will now enter formal exit negotiations with EU leaders over what the UK’s future relationship with the bloc will look like.

The letter states: “The United Kingdom wants to agree with the European Union a deep and special partnership that takes in both economic and security cooperation. To achieve this, we believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the EU.”

May said that in the case that no deal is reached and Britain leaves without a deal, “both sides would of course cope with the change”, but added: “It is not the outcome that either side should seek. We must therefore work hard to avoid that outcome.”

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