The Latest: Pound trading lower in the run-up to Brexit

Belgium EU Brexit
Sir Tim Barrow, the UK's permanent representative in Brussels arrives at his office at the UK permanent representation to the EU in Brussels Wednesday March 29, 2017. British Prime Minister Theresa May will invoke Article 50 of the EU treaty later Wednesday which will begin divorce proceedings from the European Union, starting the clock on two years of intense political and economic negotiations that will fundamentally change both the nation and its European neighbors. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

LONDON/March 29, 2017 (AP)(STL.News) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):

8:50 a.m.

The British pound is facing some selling pressure before the formal triggering of the country’s two-year process to leave the European Union.

With just hours to go before the start of the Brexit process, the pound was 0.4 percent lower at $1.2398. Since the country voted to leave the EU in a referendum last June, the currency has suffered a steep decline, losing around 20 percent of its value as traders fret over the potential economic impact of the decision to leave the world’s largest trading bloc.

Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, thinks the pound is “likely to remain quite volatile” throughout Wednesday’s trading session. However, he says that following some weakness in the run-up to the triggering of the Article 50 process that “it is worth being prepared for a possible case of traders selling the news and buying the fact today.”

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8:35 a.m.

The EU official who will receive the letter from Britain that formally triggers Brexit says the handover will take place at 1:20 p.m. Brussels time (1120 GMT; 7:20 a.m. EDT)

European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: “At 13.20 today, UK #Brexit notification letter (article 50) will be handed to me by Ambassador Tim Barrow.”

The original timing was given as around 1130 GMT (7:30 a.m. EDT). A reason for the slight change in timing hasn’t been given.

Barrow, who is Britain’s EU envoy, is taking part in a routine meeting of ambassadors on Wednesday morning. He will take a break from the meeting and hand-deliver the letter signed by Prime Minister Theresa May that will formally trigger Brexit.

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8 a.m.

Britain’s European Union envoy has arrived at his office in Brussels for a meeting, hours ahead of triggering Brexit.

Tim Barrow is taking part in a routine meeting of ambassadors on Wednesday morning.

Barrow will later take a break from the meeting and hand-deliver a letter signed by Prime Minister Theresa May at around 1130 GMT (7:30 a.m. EDT) to EU Council President Donald Tusk. The letter will formally trigger Brexit.

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7 a.m.

Britain is set to formally file for divorce from the European Union, ending a 44-year relationship following the decision made by U.K. voters in a referendum nine months ago.

Prime Minister Theresa May is due to announce in the House of Commons Wednesday afternoon that she has invoked Article 50 of the EU’s key treaty, triggering a two-year countdown to Britain’s exit.

At the same time, Britain’s EU envoy, Tim Barrow, will hand-deliver a letter from May to EU Council President Donald Tusk.

May’s office says she will tell lawmakers that the U.K. is embarking on a “momentous journey” and should unite to forge a “global Britain.”

Britain and the EU have two years to unpick a tapestry of rules, regulations and agreements stitched over more than four decades.

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