BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, the United Kingdom officially triggered article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, thus starting the Brexit process by sending a letter to European Council chief Donald Tusk notifying him of UK's decision to leave the European Union.
"The talks which are about to start will be difficult, complex and sometimes even confrontational," Tusk said proposing draft guidelines for Brexit talks.
The island nation's decision to leave the bloc has been repeatedly criticized by Scottish politicians, including First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon who claim that the outcome of the vote neglected Edinburgh's will to stay in the European Union. On Tuesday, the devolved parliament voted in favor of a bid to hold a referendum on gaining independence from the United Kingdom against the backdrop of Brexit.
Following the delivery of Brexit letter to Brussels, a number of EU leaders and officials warned that the procedure would hurt the United Kingdom. This group includes French President Francois Hollande, who promised London an "economically painful" divorce, and EU parliament chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, who said lawmakers would veto the Brexit deal if it proved too generous.