Brexit: A Timeline Of Key Events

9 October 2018, 10:53 | Updated: 16 October 2018, 09:47

LBC's timeline of key Brexit dates and events as the UK leaves the European Union.

These are the milestones reached as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union; from when David Cameron won the mandate for an in/out referendum to the end of the transitional period, and news and progress of negotiations between the UK and EU.

  1. 23rd January 2013: David Cameron's Referendum Promise

    Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech in which he said the British people must "have their say" on Europe and promised an in/out referendum by the end of 2017 if the Conservatives win the next election.

    Eurosceptics welcomed the speech as it promised the referendum, although some said they would have wanted one sooner.

    But Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg warned that the proposal would cause uncertainty and have a "chilling effect" on jobs and growth.

  2. 22nd May 2014: European Parliament Elections

    Nigel Farage's Ukip party wins 26% of the vote in the European elections, and becomes the UK's biggest representative at the European Parliament.

    The Labour Party also gained seats with Ed Miliband, with an increase of 9% of the share of the vote, while the Conservative Party lost seven seats and Liberal Democrats lost 10 seats.

  3. 7th May 2015: General Election

    David Cameron's Conservative Party wins a general election with a majority of 12 on a manifesto promising an in/out referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union.

    The Liberal Democrats suffered the most in the election, losing 49 of its 57 seats with a manifesto that promised the UK would play a "constructive part" in the EU. The SNP made big gains in Scotland, taking seats away from the Labour Party.

    UKIP held onto its first elected seat in Clacton on the Essex coast which it gained in a 2014 by-election after Douglas Carswell defected from the Conservative Party. He stayed on as the constituency's MP for his new party, but later quit UKIP and continued to sit as an independent MP. He lost his seat to the Conservative candidate when Theresa May called a snap-election in 2017.

  4. 23rd June 2016: The EU Referendum

    The UK votes to leave the European Union with 51.9% of the vote. The referendum had a turnout of 72.2%.

    David Cameron announced the day after that he would resign as Prime Minister, and Theresa May was announced as his replacement on the 13th July 2016.

    Nigel Farage resigns as the leader of Ukip, saying he has 'fulfilled his political ambition'.

    Nigel Farage at a Leave.EU referendum party
    Nigel Farage at a Leave.EU referendum party. Picture: PA
  5. 3rd November 2016: Article 50 High Court Challenge

    The High Court rules that Theresa May does not have the power to trigger Article 50 without first winning a vote by MPs in parliament.

    Three senior judges ruled that the government can only proceed with the UK's exit of the European Union once it has approval from the House of Commons, after Investment manager Gina Miller brought a legal case against the government.

  6. 17th January 2017: Lancaster House Speech

    Theresa May delivers her Lancaster House speech, setting out the type of Brexit deal she will be perusing when negotiations begin.

    Following the speech, there was a quite a lot of praise for May - with the pound soaring in the aftermath of her laying out the Brexit plans of her government.

  7. 14th February 2017: Parliament Votes To Allows Article 50

    Parliament votes to allow Theresa May to trigger Article 50 with 498 MP's supporting the motion: a majority of 384.

    114 MPs voted against the trigger of Article 50 last night, including 47 Labour MPs who rebelled against leader Jeremy Corbyn. Here is the full list.

  8. 29th March 2017: Article 50 Triggered

    Theresa May signs a letter to European Council president Donald Tusk giving notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. The letter was delivered at 12:20 (UK time) by the British ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow.

    UK ambassador to the EU delivers Theresa May's letter triggering Article 50
    UK ambassador to the EU delivers Theresa May's letter triggering Article 50. Picture: PA
  9. 30th March 2017: The EU Withdrawal Bill

    The details of the 'Great Repeal Bill' are published by the government.

    Now referred to as the EU Withdrawal Bill, the bill ensures European law will no longer apply in the UK after Brexit.

    It is believed that there are about 12,000 EU regulations in force in the UK, which will be copied across into domestic UK law to ensure a smooth transition on the day after Brexit. This is to avoid a 'black hole' in the UK statute book, and to avoid disruption to businesses and individual citizens.

    Once out of the European Union, the UK parliament will then be able to amend, repeal, and improve individual laws as desired.

  10. 31st March 2017: Brexit Negotiation Guidelines

    Donald Tusk published the EU's guidelines for negotiations between the UK and European Union for the Brexit process.

    EU leaders unanimously agreed the guidelines in less than 15 minutes into a summit held in Brussels in April.

    They said that key issues such as citizens' rights, the divorce bill, and the Irish border will need to have been resolved before any talks of a trade deal can begin.

  11. 8th June 2017: Theresa May's Snap Election

    Theresa May's snap election resulted in the Conservative Party losing the Commons majority David Cameron won in 2015.

    The hung parliament resulted with the Tories agreeing a "confidence and supply" deal with the DUP, a pro-Union and pro-Brexit party in Northern Ireland.

  12. 26th June 2017: Formal Negotiations Begin

    Formal negotiations between the United Kingdom and European Union begin.

  13. 22nd September 2017: Florence Speech

    Amid a deadlock in negotiations, Theresa May delivers her Florence speech in an effort to move Brexit talks forward.

    Theresa May said that a transition period to bridge the gap between leaving the EU and and beginning a new trade relationship could last for two years, and that access to the single market would "continue on current terms".

    The Prime Minister also said that Britain would "honour commitments" to the European Union financially, so that no member state has to pay more or receive less during the current budget in contributing "our fair share of the costs".

    Speaking about the Irish border, she said that both sides had agreed that there should not be any physical infrastructure at the border, but did not give suggestion on what could be implemented instead.

  14. 13th December 2017: Government Forced To Give Vote On Final Deal

    Tory rebels side with the Labour Party, and force the government to guarantee a vote on the final Brexit deal once it is agreed with Brussels.

    Dominic Grieve tabled an amendment to the Brexit bill calling for parliament to have a meaningful vote on the deal with the EU and was one of 11 Tory MPs to vote for it.

  15. 15th December 2017: Negotiations Move To Second Phase

    The UK and EU agree to move forward to the second phase of negotiations, after an agreement is reached on the divorce bill, Irish border, and EU citiezens' rights.

  16. 19th March 2018: Transition Period Agreed

    The UK and EU agreed a date to end the transition period, the status of EU citizens living in the UK before and after Brexit, and fishing policy.

    David Davis and Michel Barnier agreed that EU citizens arriving in the UK between the last day of EU membership and the end of the transitional period will have the same rights and guarantees as those who arrived before Brexit - with the same applied to UK expats in EU countries.

    Mr Davis said that the agreement would 'smooth the path to a future permanent relationship'.

  17. 7th July 2018: The Chequers Proposal

    Theresa May summons Cabinet Ministers to Chequers to discuss Brexit and the possibility of a no-deal scenario.

    The deal reached between ministers and Theresa May, which is also known as 'the Prime Minister's deal' or the 'Chequers deal', is made up of 12 points. They mean that the UK would keep close ties with the EU, creating an EU-UK free-trade area and a common rulebook. There would be no freedom of movement and no paying the EU, but the UK could still strike other trade deals.

    David Davis resigns as the Brexit Secretary a day after the Chequers proposal was agreed by the Cabinet. A day later, Boris Johnson resigned as the Foreign Secretary.

  18. 21st July 2018: Brexit White Paper

    The government publishes its Brexit White Paper, which included several areas of focus.

    On the economy, the white paper outlines plans for "developing a broad and deep economic relationship with the EU that maximises future prosperity" and "minimises disruption to trade between the UK and EU, protecting jobs and livelihoods" without hindering trade opportunities around the world.

    For communities, a "shared prosperity fund" was proposed, with ending free movement with a new immigration system, and also supporting farming and fisheries.

    The government are keen to safeguard the 'constitutional integrity' of the UK, without having a hard Irish border and protecting the Northern Ireland peace process.

    On democracy, when the UK leaves the EU it will leave EU institutions and 'reclaim sovereignty', and make sure that laws are made in the United Kingdom.

  19. 20th September 2018: EU Leaders Reject Chequers

    The 'EU 27' rejected Theresa May's Chequers proposal, saying it was "unworkable".

    The French President Emmanuel Macron said Brexit had been sold to the British public by “liars”, and the European Commission’s president Jean-Claude Juncker and its chief negotiator Michel Barnier have repeatedly said that the Chequers plan crosses EU red lines.

    The following day, Theresa May delivered a speech at Downing Street in which she said the UK and EU were "at an impasse" over customs arrangements and issues surrounding the Irish border.

    Summing up the speech, LBC's political editor Theo Usherwood said: "No deal just moved a massive step closer."

  20. 30th September 2018: Conservative Party Conference

    After Donald Tusk accused the Chequers proposal of "undermining the single market", eyes fell on senior Tories at the Conservative Party Conference.

    Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, insisted that 'Chequers was not dead'. He told Nick Ferrari that he knew the European Union wouldn't agree to Chequers, but is willing to work with them to find common ground.

    "We knew they wouldn't like it because it tests their red lines, it challenges all their preconceptions," he said.

    "But if they've got specific problems with it, come back to us and we'll work it through with them."

  21. 4th October 2018: "Canada+++"

    European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that the EU's offer has been a 'Canada+++' deal "from the very beginning", and was a "true measure of respect".

    Boris Johnson described the offer as a "superb way forward", and Nigel Farage urged the Prime Minsiter to "take it and run".

  22. 14th October 2018: Dominic Raab's Unscheduled Meeting With Michel Barnier

    After former Brexit secretary David Davis called for a Cabinet revolt against Theresa May, his successor was summoned to Brussels for last-minute "face-to-face" talks ahead of a summit of EU leaders.

    The unscheduled meeting between Dominic Raab and Michel Barnier are said to have focused on Northern Ireland and other "big issues still to resolve".

    Diplomats from the other 27 EU member states were later summoned for an update on the Brexit process, adding to the speculation that an exit deal was close. But Michel Barnier denied that a deal had been reached in a Tweet, saying that "some key issues are still open", including the issue of the Irish border.

    Speaking in the House of Commons after the meeting, Theresa May said that a deal with the European Union is "achievable", and that real progress has been made towards the withdrawal agreement and a future trade deal.

    However, speaking about the backstop, she describe the EU as demanding "a backstop to the backstop" - where Northern Ireland would comply with single market rules as well as the UK remaining in the customs union. She said that a backstop solution may be required before a final deal was agreed, however ruled out the possibility of it applying solely to Northern Ireland.

  23. October 2018: Deadline For Brexit Negotiations

    The EU’s chief negotiator has said negotiations must be complete before the end of October to give the 27 EU countries time to sign off the deal.

    The deadline could be pushed back to November if talks don't conclude in time.

  24. January - February 2019: MPs Vote On Final Deal

    The House of Commons must approve Theresa May's Brexit deal and decide how the UK will proceed ahead of the approaching 2-year deadline.

  25. 29th March 2019: Brexit Day

    At 11pm, the UK will no longer be a member of the European Union. However the transitional period will remain in place until the end of 2020.

  26. 31st December 2020: End Of Transition Period

    The end of the transitional period as agreed on the 19th March 2018.

    EU citizens arriving in the UK between the last day of EU membership and the end of the transitional period will have the same rights and guarantees as those who arrived before Brexit - with the same applied to UK expats in EU countries.

For the latest news on Brexit, click here.

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