Britain's ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow, informed European Council President Donald Tusk on Monday about the date when the United Kingdom intends to invoke Article 50 of the EU Treaty, the mechanism for starting the Brexit process.
Downing Street failed to tell Scottish ministers it would trigger Article 50 before making a public announcement, despite previous suggestions. "Next Wednesday, the Government will deliver on that decision and formally start the process by triggering Article 50", Brexit minister David Davis said in a statement.
A response from the group is expected in around 48 hours after the UK's notification, according to European Commission negotiator Michel Barnier.
"She has chosen the hardest and most divisive form of Brexit, choosing to take us out of the Single Market before she has even tried to negotiate".
The Prime Minister will trigger Article 50 on March 29 and has insisted that Parliament will get a vote on the final Brexit deal.
Triggering Article 50 is required to start the process of leaving the European Union, although the negotiations could stretch out over years.
May came to power soon after last June's Brexit referendum, and she has repeatedly said in the months since that she will deliver on voters' narrow decision to make Britain the first country to leave the European Union.
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She has said she wants a new relationship that is good for Britain and the European Union, but would rather walk away than accept a bad deal.
The source said that there was "no specific date set yet for the European Council at 27, but we expect to need approximately four to six weeks to prepare and consult with the EU 27 member states".
"I don't think there are many countries that would have anything critical to say of such a deal as they would be helped by it", he added.
He said the Government wanted to secure "a new, positive partnership between the United Kingdom and our friends and allies in the European Union". She will contact Tusk directly to launch negotiations in due course.
The Prime Minister is attempting to reach out in order to address criticisms that she is not paying proper attention to different administrations.
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned that London may have to abandon hopes of a trade deal unless it accepts the terms offered by the European Union, which are widely expected to include a hefty divorce bill.
Brexit minister David Davis has said there would be no sudden drop in numbers, as it would take years to fill low-skilled jobs in hospitality, social care and agriculture now done by immigrants.