Britain will "quite likely" be ready to formally trigger EU exit negotiations in January or February, Prime Minister Theresa May told European Council President Donald Tusk during a visit to London last week, the top EU official says.
"Prime Minister May was very open and honest with me," Tusk says. "She declared that it's almost impossible to trigger Article 50 this year. But it's quite likely that they will be ready maybe in January, maybe in February next year."
"It was for both of us absolutely clear that we have to wait for this formal triggering of Article 50," he adds, referring to the EU treaty clause that sets formal divorce proceedings in motion.
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