Delivery and acceptance of the letter will trigger Article 50 and the clock will start ticking, giving us two years to work through all the divorce proceedings and reach agreement on a settlement. These negotiations will be complex enough, but made more difficult by the political changes going on in the background. A possible second Independence Referendum here in Scotland, breakdown of politics in Northern Ireland, elections across Europe, a continuing refugee crisis, and a tweeting President in the White House.
Theresa May has stated herself determined and optimistic. She will need to be as she and her team set out to answer three questions:
- what terms can we negotiate for our withdrawal?;
- what kind of trade arrangements will be put in place with the EU and indeed the wider world?; and, presumably,
- what transitional arrangements will need to be put in place?.
Buckle up, its going to be a rough ride.