Nine months after it voted in a referendum to leave the European Union, Britain has given notice of its departure. In a move partly designed to warn markets, the British government on Monday pre-announced it would formally notify the EU on March 29 of commencing the countdown to leaving the EU. The EU and the U.K. will then begin at least two years of negotiations to determine exactly how this process will unfold. Already it is clear that the Brexit process will be acrimonious.
The immediate impact on Asia will be minimal. The U.K. remains an EU member and cannot strike bilateral trade deals until it has left. But from being a gateway to Europe and a good place to do business, Britain has suddenly become a place of uncertainty for investors -- from Asia and the rest of the world.