Europe

The Latest: UK envoy gears up to hand over Brexit letter

  • Sir Tim Barrow, the UK's permanent representative in Brussels arrives at his office at the UK permanent representation to the EU in Brussels Wednesday March 29, 2017. British Prime Minister Theresa May will invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty later Wednesday which will begin divorce proceedings from the European Union, starting the clock on two years of intense political and economic negotiations that will fundamentally change both the nation and its European neighbors. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

    Sir Tim Barrow, the UK's permanent representative in Brussels arrives at his office at the UK permanent representation to the EU in Brussels Wednesday March 29, 2017. British Prime Minister Theresa May will invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty later Wednesday which will begin divorce proceedings from the European Union, starting the clock on two years of intense political and economic negotiations that will fundamentally change both the nation and its European neighbors. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sir Tim Barrow, the UK's permanent representative in Brussels arrives at his office at the UK permanent representation to the EU in Brussels Wednesday March 29, 2017. British Prime Minister Theresa May will invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty later Wednesday which will begin divorce proceedings from the European Union, starting the clock on two years of intense political and economic negotiations that will fundamentally change both the nation and its European neighbors. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

    Sir Tim Barrow, the UK's permanent representative in Brussels arrives at his office at the UK permanent representation to the EU in Brussels Wednesday March 29, 2017. British Prime Minister Theresa May will invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty later Wednesday which will begin divorce proceedings from the European Union, starting the clock on two years of intense political and economic negotiations that will fundamentally change both the nation and its European neighbors. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters, one of them with a giant head depicting Theresa May, stand at Parliament Square in central London, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Britain will begin divorce proceedings from the European Union later on March 29, starting the clock on two years of intense political and economic negotiations that will fundamentally change both the nation and its European neighbors. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

    Protesters, one of them with a giant head depicting Theresa May, stand at Parliament Square in central London, Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Britain will begin divorce proceedings from the European Union later on March 29, starting the clock on two years of intense political and economic negotiations that will fundamentally change both the nation and its European neighbors. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on Brexit (all times local):

8 a.m.

Britain's European Union envoy has arrived at his office in Brussels for a meeting, hours ahead of triggering Brexit.

Tim Barrow has been in Brussels since Tuesday and he is taking part in a routine meeting of ambassadors on Wednesday morning.

Barrow will later take a break from the meeting and hand-deliver a letter signed by Prime Minister Theresa May at around 1130 GMT (7:30 a.m. EDT) to EU Council President Donald Tusk. The letter will formally trigger Brexit.

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7 a.m.

Britain is set to formally file for divorce from the European Union, ending a 44-year relationship following the decision made by U.K. voters in a referendum nine months ago.

Prime Minister Theresa May is due to announce in the House of Commons Wednesday afternoon that she has invoked Article 50 of the EU's key treaty, triggering a two-year countdown to Britain's exit.

At the same time, Britain's EU envoy, Tim Barrow, will hand-deliver a letter from May to EU Council President Donald Tusk.

May's office says she will tell lawmakers that the U.K. is embarking on a "momentous journey" and should unite to forge a "global Britain."

Britain and the EU have two years to unpick a tapestry of rules, regulations and agreements stitched over more than four decades.