As a six page letter was handed to Donald Tusk by UK’s Brussels envoy Sir Tim Barrow, No. 10 announced that ‘when Big Ben bongs midnight, on March 29 2019’ the UK will leave the EU. This means the deadline for reaching a deal ends when the clock strikes twelve, in exactly two years. For the EU part, the remaining nations will now submit their negotiating instructions to the European Commission – which will act as chief negotiator. By the end of this year there should be a broad agreement of the principles for Brexit, and if an agreement is to be finalised by 29th March 2019, we would need a deal must be on the table by October 2018. In the meantime our Whitehall lawywers will now draft the Great Repeal Bill for the Queen’s Speech in May. This will abolish the European Communities Act 1972 but preserve existing EU law in our legislation, although it can be amended or repealed at a future date.