Europe

UK prime minister says Britain will launch Brexit next year

  • Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives ahead of a TV interview at BBC studios in Birmingham, England, before the start of the annual Conservative party conference, Sunday Oct. 2, 2016.  During the interview May said Britain will trigger the Article 50 formal process for leaving the European Union, Brexit, before the end of March 2017, setting the nation on a course to leave the 28-nation European trading bloc by 2019. (Stefan Rousseau / PA via AP)

    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May arrives ahead of a TV interview at BBC studios in Birmingham, England, before the start of the annual Conservative party conference, Sunday Oct. 2, 2016. During the interview May said Britain will trigger the Article 50 formal process for leaving the European Union, Brexit, before the end of March 2017, setting the nation on a course to leave the 28-nation European trading bloc by 2019. (Stefan Rousseau / PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, 2nd left, arrives ahead of a TV interview with journalist presenter Andrew Marr, 3rd left, at BBC studios in Birmingham, England, before the start of the annual Conservative party conference, Sunday Oct. 2, 2016.  During the interview May said Britain will trigger the Article 50 formal process for leaving the European Union, Brexit, before the end of March 2017, setting the nation on a course to leave the 28-nation European trading bloc by 2019. (Stefan Rousseau / PA via AP)

    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, 2nd left, arrives ahead of a TV interview with journalist presenter Andrew Marr, 3rd left, at BBC studios in Birmingham, England, before the start of the annual Conservative party conference, Sunday Oct. 2, 2016. During the interview May said Britain will trigger the Article 50 formal process for leaving the European Union, Brexit, before the end of March 2017, setting the nation on a course to leave the 28-nation European trading bloc by 2019. (Stefan Rousseau / PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip are watched by the media as they arrive at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, England, Sunday Oct. 2, 2016.  During a BBC TV interview earlier Sunday, May said Britain will trigger the Article 50 formal process for leaving the European Union trading bloc, Brexit, before the end of March 2017, which she said would feature in her speech to the party conference. (Stefan Rousseau / PA via AP)

    Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip are watched by the media as they arrive at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, England, Sunday Oct. 2, 2016. During a BBC TV interview earlier Sunday, May said Britain will trigger the Article 50 formal process for leaving the European Union trading bloc, Brexit, before the end of March 2017, which she said would feature in her speech to the party conference. (Stefan Rousseau / PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May says Britain will trigger the formal process for leaving the European Union before the end of March 2017.

May told the BBC on Sunday that Britain would trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty early next year, setting the nation on a course to leave the 28-nation trading bloc by 2019.

The process can be extended beyond two years, if Britain and all other EU countries unanimously agree.

May made the comments ahead of her speech on the so-called British exit or Brexit at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.

She says, "I will be saying in my speech today that we will trigger (Article 50) before the end of March next year."