European Union leaders will meet on Sunday 25th November to ¨agree the UK's exit from the EU.
European Council president Donald Tusk announced that he expects Theresa May to sign the final deal in Brussels on that day.
At a press conference with the EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, Tusk reiterated his view that Brexit is a "lose-lose" situation and the negotiations only represent "damage control".
He said that over the next few days, the European Commission will work on agreeing the framework for a future relationship with the EU and that officials from the 27 remaining EU countries should be able to sign it off in a week's time.
Tusk concluded with a message to the UK: "As much as I am sad to see you leave I will do everything I can to make this farewell the least painful as possible."
Once the deal has been signed off Theresa May will then have to convince Britain's parliament to give its backing, a challenging task given opposition from all major parties and many of her own MPs.
At the press conference, Barnier hailed a "fair and balanced" agreement, paying the way for the UK's orderly withdrawal from the EU that "lays the ground for an ambitious new partnership.
"We have no time to lose," Barnier said before formally handing the text of the agreement to Tusk, who noted he had read "nearly all" of its more than 500 pages.