What is Article 50 and what happens next?

What is Article 50?

Article 50 is the name of the agreement explaining how a country can leave the EU. Created as part of the Treaty of Lisbon, it was signed by all members of the EU in 2009.

The document states that a country has two years to agree the terms of it's departure from the EU, and that time can only be extended with agreement of all other members.

The terms of the departure must be approved by the majority of member states, which is 72% of markets.

A letter triggering Article 50 was delivered to Donald Tusk, Wednesday 29th March. Read the letter in full.

What happens next?

Rio Ferdinand: 'I never contemplated suicide - but I can understand it now'

Former England footballer Rio Ferdinand lost his wife Rebecca after a short battle with cancer in 2015. She was aged just 34.

Rio opened up to Piers and Susanna about the pain of losing his wife, and how he has helped his three children deal with the tragedy.

Rio urged men to show their feelings and to talk. He also expressed his sympathy for John Frade who was widowed in last week's attack on Westminster.

Watch the full interview above.

Top five headlines you’re waking up to

1. Prime Minister Theresa May has said "now is the time to come together" as she prepares to trigger the start of the UK's formal withdrawal from the EU. The Prime Minister will chair a meeting of the Cabinet as the letter formally invoking the Article 50 withdrawal process is dispatched to Brussels.

  1. The inquests for the victims will open at Westminster's Coroner Court today and Masood's inquest will open at the same court on Thursday. Twelve people are still being treated at hospitals across London. Two men remain in police custody as the investigation by the Met's Counter Terrorism Command into last Wednesday's terrorist attack in Westminster continues.

  2. Schools in England are facing their toughest spending squeeze in two decades, jeopardising standards in the classroom, MPs have warned. The Commons Public Accounts Committee said class sizes would rise and some subjects would be dropped as schools increasingly relied on unqualified staff in a struggle to make ends meet.

  3. Court hearing for One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson, arrested following a scuffle at Los Angeles International Airport. Tomlinson was put under citizen's arrest and charged with simple battery and a misdemeanour for allegedly tackling a paparazzo to the ground and assaulting a female fan.

  4. Former England player, Rio Ferdinand, opens up about the pain of losing his wife Rebecca after a short 10 week battle with breast cancer. He is now bringing up their three children on his own and describes how his life and the lives of their children have changed.

Britain’s new one pound coin gets rolled out today

The new one pound coin becomes available from today - but are we equipped and ready for the change?

We put the new one pound coin to the test against the following:

  • Parking machine
  • Shopping trolley
  • Train ticket machine
  • GMB vending machine

The new one pound coin will be the most secure coin in the world - it's 12 sided so distinctive; it's made of two metals; it has a hologram image; micro lettering; milled edges; hidden security feature.

The old one pound coin will no longer be legal tender from 15th October 2017 - so time is slowly running out to spend your old coins.

Watch the full discussion above.

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Ant Middleton - Britain should ‘stay united’ after the Westminster attack

We should stay calm, we’ve got the best security force in the world

– Ant Middleton

Move over Bear Grylls because tonight is all about Ant Middleton.

The former special forces hero joined us ahead of his final episode of Mutiny, where him and his crew attempt to complete their 3,600 mile shark-infested journey across the Pacific Ocean.

The SBS man who has fought against the Islamic State also shared his thoughts on the recent Westminster attack and urged the nation to "stay calm" and "united".

Watch the full interview above

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NHS crackdown on free prescription items

Painkillers, hay fever medicine and gluten-free food are among the items that will no longer be available on the NHS.

Health bosses are set to wield the axe to cut back on costs that are deemed to be unnecessary, such as things that can be bought relatively cheaply in supermarkets.

Banning the items would save the NHS a staggering £400 million per year.

Dr Hilary joined us in our discussion and supported the prescription ban. He told us "we have to use the money wisely" and "use the money for new drugs that can save lives."

The following items patients will pay for out of their own pockets:

Top five headlines you’re waking up to

  1. Painkillers, hay fever medicine and gluten-free food are among the items that will no longer be available on the NHS in a major planned shake-up by NHS England. Health bosses are set to wield the axe to cut back on costs that are deemed to be unnecessary, such as things that can be bought relatively cheaply in supermarkets.

  2. The UK will refuse to hand Brussels £50 billion to pay for its divorce from the European Union, David Davis has insisted. When Theresa May triggers Article 50 tomorrow, starting the two-year countdown to Brexit, the demands for cash will form one of the first stumbling blocks in the negotiations.

  3. Security barriers are being placed around Windsor Castle ahead of the next Changing of the Guard. Police said the decision was made following a review of security after the terror attack at Westminster last week. The extra protection was installed overnight.

  4. The new £1 coin becomes available from today. The current £1 coin is being replaced for the first time in over thirty years because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters.

  5. Furious father films a police officer confiscating 27 daffodils from his young daughters after they picked them on council land to give to their mum on Mother's Day. They were 'told off' by a police officer, who said he had committed a criminal offence and later confiscated the 'handful' of flowers.