EU leaders will meet for first 'Brexit summit' on April 29

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"Our main priority for the negotiations must be to create as much certainty and clarity as possible for all citizens, companies and member states that will be negatively affected by Brexit, as well as our important partners and friends around the world like Japan", he said.

Mrs May, who will trigger Article 50 to begin the UK's exit on March 29, has made clear she is ready to walk away from negotiations if she deems it necessary, insisting "no deal is better than a bad deal".

Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, said in a statement: "Last June, the people of the United Kingdom made the historic decision to leave the EU".

The proposed legislation, introduced as a 10-minute rule bill by Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, demands a further prebicite once May has completed two years of negotiations, which are due to start on March 29.

April 29 - The other 27 European Union leaders meet to agree final guidelines and mandate the European Union executive's Michel Barnier to negotiate.

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Philip Hammond "does not recognise" European Union demands for Britain to pay a Brexit "divorce bill" of up to £50 billion after Article 50 is triggered next week, a source close to the Chancellor has said.

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Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the triggering of Article 50 was "a hugely significant moment for the whole country" and said it was "extraordinary" that Mrs May had "failed to provide any certainty about her plans for Brexit or to prepare for the clear dangers of not reaching a deal with the EU".

The EU's former financial services commissioner with close ties to London warned that there could be "total uncertainty" if talks failed, adding, however, that a scenario of "no deal" was not one the EU was entertaining.

The PM has indicated that she will trigger Article 50 on 29 March. Only if Barnier brings the EU27 a satisfactory result on that front, officials say, will leaders consider broadening his mandate to include a future trade deal or other partnership agreement.

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Her choice of next Wednesday means she has been able to stick to her self-imposed deadline of the end of March.

Guaranteeing long-term rights of Europeans in Britain after Brexit is EU's "absolute priority" from the onset of talks.

May says in that case she'll walk away from the negotiation and simply adopt the same WTO-governed relationship with the European Union as China and the US. After a draft deal is drawn up, it will need to be approved by at least 20 of the remaining 27 EU member states and ratified by the European Parliament.

"The jeering and jingoism will no doubt be loud today in the Commons when I aim to give the people the final say on the Brexit deal".

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