V1.301 Brexit—overview and key Brexit legislation

Part V1 General principles and rates of tax

V1.301 Brexit—overview and key Brexit legislation


V1.301 Brexit—overview and key Brexit legislation

This paragraph provides an overview of the position arising as a result of the UK's decision to leave the EU and pointers to those areas of VAT which are affected.


The European Union Referendum Act 2015 was given Royal Assent on 17 December 2015. It announced that a referendum was to be held by 31 December 2017 at the latest, posing the question: 'Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?'

The referendum took place on 23 June 2016, with 51.9% voting leave, 48.1% voting remain. Following the resignation of the Prime Minister, David Cameron, a leadership contest was held, as a result of which Theresa May became Prime Minister. She resigned on 7 June 2019 after a prolonged and ultimately unsuccessful attempt to get a Withdrawal Agreement, which had been agreed with EU member states, through Parliament. Boris Johnson was elected as Prime Minister on 23 July 2019.

The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 received Royal Assent on 16 March 2017. The Act gave the Prime Minister the authority to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union which, broadly, provides that a member state may decide to withdraw from the EU and sets out how withdrawal shall be notified and negotiated. Article 50 was invoked on 29 March 2017, with the result that the UK was due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. This meant that there

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