Brexit timeline

The following Public Law practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Brexit timeline
  • Quick links
  • Brexit timeline—2021 (post-transition/implementation period priorities)
  • Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee (key updates)
  • TCA Partnership Council (key updates)

Brexit timeline

On 23 June 2016, the UK held a referendum on its membership of the EU, with a majority voting in favour of the UK leaving the EU. On 29 March 2017, the UK Prime Minister gave formal notification of the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU, commencing the withdrawal process under Article 50 TEU.

At 11 pm on 31 January 2020 (exit day), the UK’s formal withdrawal from the EU took effect and the UK ceased to be an EU Member State. Exit day marked the end of the withdrawal period under Article 50 TEU and the start of a time-limited transition/implementation period, during which the transitional arrangements provided in Part 4 of the Withdrawal Agreement applied.

The transitional arrangements provided a standstill period during which the UK and EU worked to implement the Withdrawal Agreement and negotiate an agreement on the legal terms of their future relationship, to take effect after the transition period. The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) was agreed on 24 December 2020, one week before the transition period ended at 11 pm on 31 December 2020 (IP completion day).

This Practice Note sets out a timeline of key events and updates (in reverse chronological order) in the post-transition period, focussing in particular on the implementation of the TCA and associated agreements, follow-up actions in respect of the Withdrawal

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