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Brexit Key Dates


23 Jan 2013: UK prime minister David Cameron promises a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU if the Conservative party wins the next general election.



07 May 2015: British voters elect the Conservative party; Cameron confirms there will be a referendum on EU membership.



20 Feb 2016: Cameron announces he has negotiated a deal with EU leaders that gives Britain “special status.” and announces he will campaign to Remain.

23 Jun 2016: Referendum. 52% of voters vote to Leave on a turnout of 72.2% (46.5m voters). A majority of voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland vote to Remain.


24 Jun 2016: Cameron announces his intention to resign as prime minister. Jonathan Hill announces his intention to resign as an EU Commissioner.


13 Jul 2016: David Cameron resigns and Theresa May becomes prime minister. David Davis is appointed to the newly created post of Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.


27 Jul 2016: The European Commission nominates former EU Commissioner and French foreign minister Michel Barnier as the EU’s Chief Negotiator.


03 Nov 2016: The UK High Court rules that the British government cannot trigger Article 50 without Parliamentary approval (later confirmed by the Supreme Court). AKA. The Miller case.


03 Nov 2016: The House of Commons votes 461 to 89 in favour of Theresa May's plan to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017.


24 Jan 2017: The UK Supreme Court rules in the Miller case, that parliament must pass legislation to authorise the triggering of Article 50.


26 Jan 2017: The UK Government introduces a 137-word bill in parliament to empower Theresa May to initiate Brexit by triggering Article 50. Opposition Labour party support it.


29 Mar 2017: UK government triggers Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty in a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, initiating a 2 year exit process.


18 Apr 2017: Theresa May announces that a general election will take place on 8 June.


8 Jun 2017: The Conservatives remain the largest single party in the House of Commons but lose their majority. May is forced to do a deal with the DUP, Northern Irish unionists to stay in power.


17 Jul 2017: Brexit talks officially get underway between the UK and EU.


19 Mar 2018: The UK and EU publish a draft agreement on Britain’s withdrawal. The agreement is incomplete.


08 July 2018:  David Davis resigns.


09 July 2018: Dominic Raab is appointed as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Boris Johnson resigns as foreign secretary.


21 Sept 2018: The EU rejects the UK’s white paper proposals.


14 Nov 2018: The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is published.


15 Nov 2018: Dominic Raab resigns.


16 Nov 2018: Steve Barclay is appointed as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union.


25 Nov 2018: EU27 leaders approve the Withdrawal Agreement after May adapts her plan to include an all-UK customs union with the EU to resolve the controversial Irish border “backstop”. It must be ratified in the UK and European parliaments to be effective.


10 Dec 2018: May delays the Brexit vote in parliament one day before it is due to be held because it faces certain defeat. She seeks further concessions from the EU.


13 Dec 2018:  May survives a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative party but is forced to promise to step down before the next election.


15 Jan 2019: The government loses the Brexit deal vote (1 of 3) in parliament by 432 votes to 202, the worst government parliamentary defeat in the UK’s history.


30 Jan 2019: Parliament gives May a mandate to go back to Brussels to seek “alternative arrangements” to the Irish backstop.


12 Mar 2019: The government loses the second Brexit deal vote by 149 votes.


20 Mar 2019: May asks the EU to delay Brexit from 29 March until 30 June 2019.


21 Mar 2019: The EU agrees to extend deadline until 22 May 2019 if the Withdrawal Agreement is passed by 29 March 2019 but, if not, the UK has until 12 April 2019 to indicate a way forward.


23 Mar 2019: Hundreds of thousands of pro-EU protesters march in London to demand a second referendum.


29 Mar 2019: The original planned date for Brexit. The government loses the third Brexit deal vote by 58 votes. No viable alternatives are found.


11 Apr 2019: Following a request by May, EU leaders agree to a further deadline extension, to 31 October 2019, or the first day of the month after that in which the Withdrawal Agreement is passed, whichever comes first.


23 May 2019:  The UK holds elections to the European Parliament, the Conservatives do badly.


24 May 2019:  May says she will stand down as Conservative party leader on 7 June 2019. She will remain as caretaker prime minister until a new leader in place.


23 Jul 2019: Boris Johnson is elected as new leader of Conservative party.


24 Jul 2019: May officially resigns and Johnson takes office as prime minister, vowing the UK will leave on31st October, with or without a deal.


19 Aug 2019: Johnson issues a plea to the EU to ditch the Irish backstop from the Withdrawal Agreement. The EU refuses.


28 Aug 2019: Johnson announces his intention to prorogued (suspended) in Septemberfor five weeks to give opponents less time to block a no-deal Brexit.


04 Sep 2019: The Benn Act passes second reading by 329 to 300, preventing the UK from leaving EU without a deal.


09 Sep 2019: The Government loses an attempt to call an election. John Bercow announces his intention to resign as Speaker of the House of Commons. Parliament is prorogued until 14 October 2019.


24 Sept 2019: The UK Supreme Court rules that government’s suspension of parliament was unlawful, The House of Commons is recalled the next day.


6 Oct 2019: The EU rejects the UK’s new plan to remove Irish backstop (involving regulatory alignment across the island of Ireland but retaining a customs border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland)


17 Oct 2019: The UK and EU announce they have reached a new deal after UK concessions over Northern Ireland.


19 Oct 2019: British MPs withhold their approval for the deal until laws implementing Brexit are in place. Johnson must seek another Brexit delay from the EU. Another huge pro-EU march takes place in London.


21 Oct 2019: Extreme turmoil in UK as politicians and law makers seek clarity on route forward.


22 Oct 2019: Parliament unhappy about drafting of legislation and lack of time to consider ramifications, Tusk says he will recommend the EU approve the UK's request for an extension


24 Oct 2019: Opposition Labour party insist that a no-deal Brexit must first be off the table if they are to support any motions.


28 Oct 2019: Johnson asks EU to delay Brexit for a third time, a new deadline of 31 Jan 2020 is formally approved the next day


29 Oct 2019: Johnson calls a general election in the hope it will break the stalemate.


01 Dec 2019: Ursula von der Leyen replaces Juncker as European Commission President, Charles Michel replaces Donald Tusk as European Council President.


12 Dec 2019: Conservatives win general election with an 80-seat majority, but Scotland and Northern Ireland again register strong anti-Brexit votes.


23 Jan 2020: The UK’s EU Withdrawal Agreement bill becomes law, after several amendments made in Houses of Commons and Lords.


29 Jan 2020: The European Parliament gives its consent to the Council of the European Union to conclude the Withdrawal Agreement by 621 votes to 49. This is the final time that UK MEPs sit in the European Parliament


31 Jan 2020: The UK officially leaves the EU at 11 pm UK / midnight in Brussels.

01 Feb 2020: An 11mth transition period begins, most arrangements will remain the same but both sides face a race against the clock to sort out the future EU-UK relationship.


7 Dec 2020: UK and EU say significant differences still exist.


24 Dec 2020: UK and EU announce they have reached a deal to allow tariff- and quota-free trade to continue.


30 Dec 2020: UK and EU leaders officially sign the agreement. House of Commons approves the European Union (Future

Relationship) Act 2020 by 521 votes to 73.


31 Dec 2020: The UK completes its separation from the EU at 11.00pm GMT / midnight in Brussels.

Sources: AP News, Euronews

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