THERESA May will fire the official starting gun on Brexit next Wednesday, Downing Street has announced today.

The Prime Minister has confirmed she will trigger Article 50 on March 29, starting two years of negotiations.

The move will put Worcester MP Robin Walker at the centre of one of the most tumultuous periods in British politics for a generation, in his role as a Brexit minister.

A letter will be sent to the European Council notifying EU leaders about the UK's formal intention to withdraw from the bloc, meaning Britain will be out the EU on March 29, 2019.

The announcement means that Mrs May will meet her self-imposed deadline of the end of March to get the withdrawal process under way.

Today, Mr Walker said: "It's a significant development, and something we've clearly been working towards for some time.

"We've always said Article 50 will be triggered 'by the end of March', and this means the Prime Minister will have done that - it's the last sitting day before the break at Westminster so it makes sense."

The start of Article 50 will also mark a significant step-change in the workload for other MPs in Worcestershire.

Wyre Forest Tory Mark Garnier, who was appointed a minister in Liam Fox's new Department for International Trade, can also expect to play a key role as Britain seeks trade deals with other nations.

An extraordinary summit of the remaining 27 EU member states is due to be called within four to six weeks of Article 50 being triggered.

Worcester News:

The PM's letter will come 279 days after the historic referendum of June 23 last year, when 52 per cent backed Leave.

The announcement comes after European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker warned Britain may have to abandon hopes of a trade deal if it rejects the terms offered by the EU - which are widely expected to include a "divorce bill" of as much as £50 billion.

The UK will have "the choice to eat what's on the table or not come to the table at all", Mr Juncker told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag yesterday.