May begins United Kingdom tour to gain Brexit support

Holyrood's Brexit minister has criticised the UK Government after claiming Tory politicians in London "forgot" to inform Scotland of the date when Article 50 will be triggered.

Mrs May said today she wants Welsh businesses to benefit from the "freest possible trade" when Britain leaves the European Union and to be at the forefront of science and innovation.

The prime minister also says she wants a "phased period of implementation" of a new relationship with the European Union to give businesses time to plan.

The European Council's president said on Twitter he will present draft Brexit guidelines to the other 27 EU member states within 48 hours.

The European Commission's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said they must be wrapped up by October 2018 to give the EU and national parliaments time to ratify the deal.

There's also likely to be friction over Britain's desire to maintain free trade in goods and services with the bloc, without accepting the EU's core principle of free movement of workers.

The Brexit secretary said Britain will then be engaged in the most important negotiation "for a generation".

It is in the EU's interest to ensure good trading relations with the United Kingdom, but according to an global official, who didn't want to be named due to the sensitive topic, in Brussels there is one clear mandate for the negotiations: "Brexit has to be worse economically than staying in the European Union".

Britain had said it hoped the trade deal could be agreed, at least in outline, during the two-year period when the exit talks were being finalised.

Downing Street failed to tell Scottish ministers it would trigger Article 50 before making a public announcement, despite previous suggestions. We asked people what they would think if Britain ended up with a far less favourable version of Brexit, a hypothetical Brexit where Theresa May doesn't manage to get some of things she wants.

Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay in the European Union in the Jun 23 referendum, while England and Wales voted to leave, resulting in a UK-wide vote of 52 per cent for Brexit.

European leaders have also been clear that Britain cannot get a better deal outside the EU than it had inside, amid fears that Brexit could cause other nations to leave the bloc. By mid May, the European Union general affairs council will adopt more detailed negotiating director for the EC and authorise the opening of the negotiations, which will then start by the end of May or early June.

The Brexit vote in June has prompted nationalists in Scotland and Northern Ireland to call for a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom.

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