UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall issued the following statement earlier:
“Today the Government has finally acted on the historic decision of the people of this country to leave the European Union.
“Finally, nine months after our vote the UK hasl formally informed the EU that we are leaving.
“UKIP is delighted that this is eventually happening. 24 years ago this party was formed to make this a reality, so it would be churlish to complain. We have been ignored, dismissed insulted and abused, but through determination and with good humour we fought on and we have succeeded.
“The nine-month delay has, of course cost the taxpayer additional billions, and has allowed those who would block the democratic will of the people to do all they can to spread discord, but we are here now.
“While negotiations continue we will continue to be the ‘guard dogs of Brexit’, holding the Government’s feet to the fire at home and our MEPs will be working to ensure our friends on the continent do not pull any fast ones.
“We will provide the political threat to ensure no backsliding takes place and ensure that Brexit does indeed mean Exit.
“With our six key tests we have set out a reasonable and clear position by which the Government’s negotiations can be held to account.
“But today, for now, we wish the Government and the Prime Minister well.
“If they fail in this historic task, 17 million people are ready to act.”