Europe

The Latest: EU says it's 'ready' to begin Brexit talks

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, looks at a man wearing virtual reality glasses during a visit at the booth of Vodafone as part of a walkabout at the IT trade fair CeBIT in Hanover, Germany, Monday, March 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, looks at a man wearing virtual reality glasses during a visit at the booth of Vodafone as part of a walkabout at the IT trade fair CeBIT in Hanover, Germany, Monday, March 20, 2017. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man balances as he walks along a wall above the River Thames backdropped by the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower containing the bell know as "Big Ben" in London, Monday, March 20, 2017. Britain's government will begin the process of leaving the European Union on March 29, starting the clock on the two years in which to complete the most important negotiation for a generation. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

    A man balances as he walks along a wall above the River Thames backdropped by the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower containing the bell know as "Big Ben" in London, Monday, March 20, 2017. Britain's government will begin the process of leaving the European Union on March 29, starting the clock on the two years in which to complete the most important negotiation for a generation. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on Brexit (all times local):

12 p.m.

The European Commission says it has been informed in advance of Britain's plans to trigger its exit from the EU on March 29 and stands ready to help launch the negotiations.

Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said Monday that "we have been informed in advance. We are ready to begin negotiations."

He said that "everything is ready on this side," and that the EU's executive arm stands ready to play its role once the letter of notification is actually sent.

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11:40 a.m.

Britain's government says it will trigger Article 50, signaling Britain's departure from the European Union, on March 29.

The Department for Exiting the European Union said in a statement that Britain's permanent representative to the EU, Tim Barrow, informed the European Council President Donald Tusk of the timing on Monday morning. The notification of triggering Article 50 will come in the form of a letter.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said in a statement that the country is "on the threshold of the most important negotiation" for a generation.