Brexit—introduction to the Withdrawal Agreement
Produced in partnership with Kieran Laird of Gowling WLG
Brexit—introduction to the Withdrawal Agreement

The following Public Law guidance note Produced in partnership with Kieran Laird of Gowling WLG provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Brexit—introduction to the Withdrawal Agreement
  • What is the Withdrawal Agreement?
  • Brief background to the Withdrawal Agreement
  • When did the Withdrawal Agreement come into force?
  • What does the Withdrawal Agreement cover?
  • What is the Political Declaration?
  • What is the legal status of these documents?
  • Transitional arrangements
  • The position of the Court of Justice of the European Union
  • Interpretation of EU law in the Withdrawal Agreement by UK courts
  • more

The UK’s formal withdrawal from the EU took effect at 11 pm on 31 January 2020 (exit day). At this point, the withdrawal period under Article 50 TEU came to an end and the ratified Withdrawal Agreement setting out the legal terms of the UK’s withdrawal entered into force. The ratified Withdrawal Agreement was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on exit day along with the Political Declaration on the framework for the future relationship between the UK and EU:

  1. Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, OJ L 29 31.01.19, p 7-187

  2. Political declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, OJ C 34 31.01.19, p 1-16

Exit day marked a key milestone in terms of being the date the UK ceased to be an EU Member State. It also marked the start of the 11-month transition or implementation period, during which the UK continues to be treated by the EU as a Member State for many purposes in accordance with the transitional arrangements provided in Part Four of the Withdrawal Agreement (see below).

For background reading and analysis, see: Exit day—the practice area/sector view and Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.