The Government will trigger Article 50 today with Mrs May's letter being delivered at 12:20 BST.
Numerous statements have already been made about the likely direction and outcome of negotiations over the terms of Brexit and a future UK-EU free trade agreement. Amidst the plethora of such statements, Mr Barnier's recent comments that a new EU trade relationship with the UK will be like no other, recognising that the UK and the EU will be starting off from a point of full regulatory convergence, would seem positive.
Accepting the principle of a “bold and ambitious” free trade agreement, a term first coined by the Prime Minister, he nonetheless talked about the risk, even “probability”, of future UK-EU regulatory divergence and its consequences. These are difficult issues, both legally and politically, as they raise sensitive issues about sovereignty, including in relation to the core question of future dispute resolution. The Government has already indicated that the UK will not accept the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the EU. However, this and other related issues should not be deemed insurmountable.
There are ways and there are means and a way forward must be found for the benefit of both sides and Europe more widely.