Brexit timeline

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2019

4th September, 2019: A Brexit delay bill passes the House of Commons.  The bill will force the prime minister to approach the EU and ask for an extension to the UK’s membership beyond the October 31 Brexit deadline if a deal has not been agreed by October 19. It will now head to the House of Lords.

Following this bill Mr Johnson called for a general election, however this was defeated in a vote. Needing a two-third majority of all members, the motion was 136 short of the 434 votes required, with 298 MPs for, 56 against and 288 not voting. 

3rd September, 2o19: The Conservative government lose their working majority in Parliament as MP Phillip Lee defects to the Liberal Democrats.

28th August, 2019: Boris Johnson’s government requests that the Queen suspends Parliament. The suspension would begin in early September and  last until October 14th, 17 days before the UK is scheduled to leave the European Union.
The Queen accepted the request to prorogue Parliament later that afternoon.

07th August, 2019- WikiTribune: Tory MP Dominic Grieve calls the idea that the PM can ignore House of Commons on Brexit a “fantasy”

23rd July, 2019: Boris Johnson becomes the Prime Minister after defeating Jeremy Hunt in the final stage of the Conservative Party leadership contest, winning the vote 92,153 to 46,656.

The former mayor of London will take over from Theresa May on July 24.

7th June, 2019: Theresa May officially stands down as Conservative Leader. She will remain as Prime Minister until her successor is chosen, expected to be announced the week of July 22.

23rd May, 2019: Theresa May announces she will step down as Prime Minister on June 7, saying that being the Prime Minister was the “honour of my life”.

The Conservative party state that a new Prime Minister will be in the role by the end of July.

22nd May, 2019: Commons Leader Andrea Leadsom steps down steps down over the government’s Brexit strategy.

To this point, this is the 36th resignation by a minister under Theresa May’s leadership, 21 of which are related to Brexit.

22nd May, 2019- WikiTribune: The European Union heads to the polls

17th May, 2019:  After 46 days, discussions between the Labour and Conservative parties aimed at breaking the Brexit withdrawal agreement impasse in Parliament breakdown. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn says that talks have gone “as far as they can.”

16th May, 2019: Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservative backbench MPs, announces that he will meet Mrs May in June to plan out her departure as PM. The meeting is due following the second reading of the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement during the week beginning June 3, and will occur regardless of whether the bill passes or not.

7th May, 2019: David Lidington, Minister for the Cabinet Office, says that “regrettably” the UK will not be able to agree a Brexit plan in time, and will need to participate in European Parliament elections on May 23.

11th April, 2019: In the early hours of the 11th, the European Union agrees to a 6-month extension to Brexit, with the UK now scheduled to leave the EU on October 31. If the UK is able to pass a withdrawal agreement through Parliament it will be able to leave the EU prior to this date. 

The UK must hold elections to the European Parliament, and if it fails to do so will leave the EU on June 1.

10th April, 2019: British Prime Minister Theresa May travels to Brussels to request an extension to the Brexit deadline from the leaders of the the remaining 27 leaders of nations of the European Union in Brussels.

9th April, 2019: UK Parliament votes 420 in favour to 110 against to support Theresa May’s request for an extension to the Brexit deadline.

5th April, 2019: Theresa May formally requests a Brexit extension until June 30. An extension will require the approval of all remaining 27 nations of the European Union.

The Prime Minister has proposed that if Parliament supports a withdrawal agreement prior to the European Parliament elections on May 23 that the UK would leave the EU without participating in these elections- stating that “It is in the interests of neither the United Kingdom …. nor the European Union as a whole, that the United Kingdom holds elections to the European Parliament.”  However, she has announced that the UK will prepare to participate in the elections in the event that an agreement is not reached beforehand.

2nd April, 2019: Theresa May confirms that she will ask the European Union for a further extension to Brexit, “one that is as short as possible and which ends when we pass a deal.”

The Prime Minister also said she plans to meet with Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn to negotiate a deal “to ensure that we leave the European Union and that we do so with a deal.”

1st April, 2019: Four alternative plans to the PM’s withdrawal agreement are debated and voted upon in a series of indicative votes, with no proposal being backed by MPs.

29th March, 2019: On the day the UK was initially scheduled to leave the European Union, Parliament rejects the PMs withdrawal agreement 344 votes to 286. 

Donald Tusk, the President of the European Commission,  announced that the leaders of the remaining 27 members of the European Union will meet on April 10 to discuss the UK’s exit from the EU.

27th March, 2019: Theresa May has agreed to stand down if her proposed Brexit agreement is supported in Parliament.

“I am prepared to leave this job earlier than I intended in order to do what is right for our country and our party,” she told Conservative backbenchers.

The Prime Minister had previously said she would not lead the Conservative party to the next elections, currently scheduled for 2022.

The day also saw a series of MP led ‘indicative votes’ regarding eight Brexit possibilities. However, none of the options received majority support.

21st March, 2019: The European Union agrees to a Brexit extension- until May 22 if MPs supports the withdrawal agreement, or until April 12 if the agreement is not supported.

21st March, 2019- WikiTribune: Explainer: How #RevokeA50Now is secured against fake accounts

20th March, 2019: Theresa May makes a formal request to the EU for an delay of Brexit until June 30. 

18th March, 2019: Citing convention dating back to 1604John Bercow – the Speaker of the House of Commons – says he will not allow a third “meaningful vote” on “substantially the same” motion as MPs rejected the previous week.

14th March, 2019: Parliament votes 412 to 202 to support a request for a short delay if a Brexit deal can be agreed by March 20. The statement also requests a longer delay if no deal can be agreed by this date.

MPs also earlier voted 334 to 85 against a proposal, with 223 members abstaining from the vote, and 1 MP voting both for and against. Following the vote, Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn re-iterated his support for a second referendum, after earlier instructing the members of his party not to participate in the vote.

13th March, 2019: MPs vote 321 to 278 to support a motion against a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. The motion has political clout but is not legally binding, and does not completely rule out the UK leaving the EU without a deal in place.

12th March, 2019: MPs vote against the Prime Minister’s amended Brexit deal 391 to 242.

Earlier in the day Attorney General Geoffrey Cox released a statement stating that the new agreement has not given the UK legal means of exiting the so-called backstop arrangement unilaterally.

11th March, 2019: Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker announce that “legal changes” have been agreed over the Brexit deal. A joint instrument, a joint statement and a unilateral deceleration regarding the Irish backstop have been confirmed.

The announcement comes a day before a ‘meaningful vote’ on the Prime Minister’s Brexit agreement. Juncker, the President of the European Commission, has stated there will “there will be no third chance” for negotiating the deal if not supported in the Commons.

9th March, 2019- WikiTribune: Brexit: Short interview with British citizen living in Oporto, Portugal

22nd February, 2019: Ian Austin becomes the 9th Labour MP to leave the party in the past week, labelling the party as “broken.” He reportedly has no plans to joint the Independent Group of ministers.

20th February, 2019: Three Conservative ministers leave the party over the governments “disastrous handling of Brexit.” They are set to join the ‘Independent Group’ of ministers set up by the former Labour ministers who resigned earlier in the week. They are also joined by another resigning former Labour MP, bringing the group to 11 total.

18th February, 2019: Seven Labour MPs have left the party, reportedly partly due to their concerns over the Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit.

29th January, 2019: MPs support Conservative minister Sir Graham Brady’s Brexit amendment 317 votes to 301. The non-binding amendment seeks “alternative arrangements” to the Irish border arrangement ‘backstop’ proposed in the current EU approved Brexit negotiations. The European Union quickly ruled out re-negotiating the current agreement.

MPs also voted to support a non-binding amendment proposed by Conservative minister Dame Caroline Spelman and Labour minister Jack Dromey that rejects a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. The proposal was supported 318 for versus 310 against votes.

5 other proposed Brexit agreement amendments were also selected for debate but were not approved by the house.

17th January, 2019: The German Lower House passes the Brexit Transition Act. It shall enter into force on the day when the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement comes into effect.

16th January, 2019: The Prime Minister survives a parliamentary no confidence vote by 325 to 306.

15th January, 2019: Theresa May‘s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement is defeated in the House of Commons. The 432-202 vote is one of the largest government defeats in history. The Prime Minister agrees to allow discussion on any parliamentary vote of no-confidence, following which one is immediately tabled by Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn.

09th January, 2019:  A motion is passed in the Commons that means the Prime Minister will have to provide a ‘Plan B’ within 3 days, if her Brexit Plan is not supported.

07th January, 2019: The vote on Theresa May’s Brexit proposal is announced for Tuesday, January 15th. The vote on the EU-approved proposal had already been delayed.

2018

17th December, 2018: Theresa May announces Brexit parliamentary vote for mid January 2019. The vote had originally been scheduled for December. 

12th December, 2018: The Prime Minister faces– and survives– a leadership vote within the Conservative Party. Mrs May had faced a vote of no-confidence, but wins the vote 200-117.

10th December, 2018: The Parliamentary vote on Prime Minister May’s EU-approved Brexit deal is delayed, after initially being scheduled for December 11. Theresa May acknowledged the vote was delayed because it would “would be rejected by a significant margin” if put to Parliament.

10th December, 2018: The Court of Justice of the European Union finds that “The United Kingdom is free to revoke unilaterally the notification of its intention to
withdraw from the EU.” This would mean that, under Article 50 of the EU Treaty, the UK could legally remain a member of the EU under its current, unchanged terms if it chose to do so.

28th November, 2018- WikiTribune: Concerns about British medication shortage continue amongst Brexit fears

25th November, 2018: All 27 Member States remaining in the European Union approve Theresa May’s Brexit plan, clearing the plan to be submitted to the Parliament in London. 

15th November, 2018- Dominic Raab resigns as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. Raab, who succeeded David Davis to that position in July, is replaced by Stephen Barclay. 

13th November, 2018- WikiTribune: “Brexit deal on” – as legal fight goes on amid claims public has right to know

11th November, 2018- WikiTribune: Brexit or Regrexit? UK PM May under fire as “no deal” looms in EU breakaway talks

29th October, 2018- The last Budget before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU is released. 

14th September, 2018- WikiTribune: Could ‘no deal’ Brexit cause UK house price drop of 35 percent?

13th September, 2018- WikiTribune: No deal Brexit advice published

11th September, 2018- WikiTribune: Chocolate maker stockpiling ingredients in fear of Brexit 

5th September, 2018- The German Cabinet approves the draft Brexit Transition Act aimed at creating legal certainty in federal law for the transition period from 30th March, 2019 to 31st December, 2020.

28th August, 2018- WikiTribune: Pro-EU video games movement warns of impact after Brexit 

23rd August, 2018- WikiTribune: Government no-deal Brexit advice published

15th August, 2018- WikiTribune: What about UK personal driving licences in a ‘no deal’ Brexit?

24th July, 2018- UK Government publishes the White Paper on future UK-EU relations. 

9th July, 2018- Boris Johnson resigns as Foreign Secretary, stating that the Prime Minister was leading the UK into a “semi-Brexit” with the “status of a colony.” Then Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis also resigns and is replaced by Dominic Raab.

26th June, 2018- The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill receives Royal Assent: The ‘European Union (Withdrawal) Act’ becomes and Act of Parliament. 

22nd March, 2018- WikiTribune: Interview with Gina Miller: ‘The more people send me hate the more I’m determined to stop this’

2nd March, 2018- WikiTribune: Major Theresa May speech adds little detail to Brexit negotiations

28th February, 2018- The European Commission publishes the draft of the
Withdrawal Agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom. 

28th February, 2018- WikiTribune: What does the EU’s Brexit offering mean for the negotiations?

27th February, 2018- WikiTribune: Trade, transition, and the Irish border: A Brexit talks crib sheet

2nd February, 2018- WikiTribune: What Brexit means for Gibraltar and the people of ‘The Rock’  and What Brexit may do to Britain’s games industry

23rd January, 2018- WikiTribune: Boris Johnson irks fellow UK politicians with demand for health spending

2017

12th December, 2017- WikiTribune: Irish reunification would come with a big price tag 

29th November, 2017- WikiTribune: Brexit voters surprised themselves by winning, stick by decision 

22nd November, 2017- WikiTribune: Could Ireland stop Brexit in its tracks? 

24th October, 2017- WikiTribune: Brexit: What is ‘no deal’? 

21st September, 2017- WikiTribune: Explainer: Why does the UK PM’s Brexit speech in Florence matter?

5th September, 2017- WikiTribune: Could Brexit be reversed? A view from across the Channel

19th June, 2017- The first round of UK-EU exit negotiations begin. 

9th June, 2017- Theresa May informs the Queen that she intends to form a government with the Democratic Unionist Party. 

8th June, 2017- The General Election results in a hung Parliament, with the Conservatives winning the most seats.

18th April, 2017– Prime Minister May calls a General Election for later in 2017. 

29th March, 2017- The UK Government triggers article 50 of the treaty on the European Union, with a view to withdrawing from the Union.

2016

13th July, 2016Theresa May becomes Prime Minister.

24th June, 2016David Cameron announces his intention to resign.

23rd June, 2016 The Referendum on the UK remaining in the EU is held. ‘Leave’ wins by 51.9% to 48.1%. The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting. 

22nd February, 2016David Cameron announces the referendum on the UK remaining in or withdrawing from the EU, set for the 23rd of June of the same year. 

Prior to 2016

22nd May, 2014- The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) receive the most number of UK votes at the European Parliament Elections. UKIP “stands for a complete and total withdrawal from the European Union.” 

23rd January, 2013– Then Prime Minister David Cameron states he is in favour of the United Kingdom conducting an in-out referendum on its status within the EU.

15th May, 2012- The first recorded use of the word “Brexit” – attributed to Peter Wilding, the founder and current chairman of the British Influence think tank. It was used in a blog on the Blogactiv EU website.

7th February, 1992- The European Union is formally created by the Treaty of Maastricht.

June 1975A referendum further supports UK position within the EC. 67% Britons voted to remain.

1st January, 1973– After Prime Minister Edward Heath confirmed the application of the United Kingdom for membership, the UK joins the then European Community (EC) the precursor to the European Union. At the time, application for membership was conducted without a referendum or public vote.

1st August, 1961- On behalf of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan applies for membership in the EEC, but this is rejected.

25th March, 1957– The European Economic Community (a precursor to the EU) is officially established by the Treaty of Rome.

Since the Referendum, sentiment has been polled regularly. Using a convenient dataset of such poll results, we can see how sentiments have evolved:

  • All WikiTribune articles are dated as the date of the first draft
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