29/03/2017 Press release

The UK formally notified the EU of its intention to leave. "We regret that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union, but we are ready for the process," the European Council responded in a statement. "In these negotiations the Union will act as one and preserve its interests."

The European Council consists of the heads of state or government of the EU's member states, together with its President and the European Commission President. It defines the EU's general political direction and priorities.

The Council of the EU represents the member states' governments. Informally Also known as the EU Council, it is where national ministers from each EU country meet to adopt laws and coordinate policies.