UK is to begin formal process of leaving the European Union early next year a top EU official has disclosed.
European Council President Donald Tusk said Mrs May had told him the UK could be ready to begin talks by February, the BBC reports.
Mr Tusk said: “Prime Minister May was very open and honest with me.
“She declared that it’s almost impossible to trigger Article 50 this year but it’s quite likely that they will be ready maybe in January maybe in February next year.”
Mrs May’s office said it would not be launched this year, but did not confirm Mr Tusk’s account.
UK has a two year period to finalise the process but formal negotiations over the withdrawal cannot begin until she triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, the formal mechanism for leaving the union.
The timing of the process has so-far been clouded by uncertainty, with no clear signal from Mrs May’s government on when it would begin.
There is also confusion over the nature of the the UK’s future relationship with the bloc, especially whether it intends to remain a member of the single market.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker insisted that the UK could not get access to the single market without accepting the free movement of workers.
Mrs May has indicated that in any negotiations, her government would insist on placing curbs on EU citizens entering the UK.
Read more on: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37394808
Meanwhile, the 27 remaining EU member states are to renew their membership of the Union following an agreement at a summit on Friday.