Britain's Brexit bill clears first legislative hurdle
May wants to begin exit negotiations with the EU by March 31, starting two years of talks that will define Britain's economic and political future and test the unity of the EU's 27 remaining members.
Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EUhttp://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-32810887
What does Brexit mean?
It is a word that has become used as a shorthand way of saying the UK leaving the EU - merging the words Britain and exit to get Brexit, in a same way as a possible Greek exit from the euro was dubbed Grexit in the past.
Why is Britain leaving the European Union?
A referendum - a vote in which everyone (or nearly everyone) of voting age can take part - was held on Thursday 23 June, to decide whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union. Leave won by 52% to 48%. The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting.
Find the result in your area
England voted for Brexit, by 53.4% to 46.6%, as did Wales, with Leave getting 52.5% of the vote and Remain 47.5%. Scotland and Northern Ireland both backed staying in the EU. Scotland backed Remain by 62% to 38%, while 55.8% in Northern Ireland voted Remain and 44.2% Leave. See the results in more detail.
What has happened since the referendum?
Britain got a new Prime Minister - Theresa May. The former home secretary took over from David Cameron, who resigned on the day after losing the referendum. Like Mr Cameron, Mrs May was against Britain leaving the EU but she says she will respect the will of the people. She has said "Brexit means Brexit" but there is still a lot of debate about what that will mean in practice especially on the two key issues of how British firms do business in the European Union and what curbs are brought in on the rights of European Union nationals to live and work in the UK. She set out more details of her negotiating hopes in her key speech on Brexit.
What about the economy?
The UK economy appears to have weathered the initial shock of the Brexit vote, although the value of the pound remains near a 30-year low, but opinion is sharply divided over the long-term effects of leaving the EU. Some major firms such as Easyjet and John Lewis have pointed out that the slump in sterling has increased their costs. Britain also lost its top AAA credit rating, meaning the cost of government borrowing will be higher. But share prices have recovered from a dramatic slump in value, with both the FTSE 100 and the broader FTSE 250 index, which includes more British-based businesses, trading higher than before the referendum. The Bank of England cut interest rates from 0.5% to 0.25% - a record low and the first cut since 2009 - after the vote and there has not been the economic slump or recession that some had predicted. Here is a regularly updated detailed rundown of how Britain's economy is doing
What is the European Union?
The European Union - often known as the EU - is an economic and political partnership involving 28 European countries (click here if you want to see the full list). It began after World War Two to foster economic co-operation, with the idea that countries which trade together are more likely to avoid going to war with each other.
It has since grown to become a "single market" allowing goods and people to move around, basically as if the member states were one country. It has its own currency, the euro, which is used by 19 of the member countries, its own parliament and it now sets rules in a wide range of areas - including on the environment, transport, consumer rights and even things such as mobile phone charges. Click here for a beginners' guide to how the EU works.