UK withdrawal from the European Union

Brexit (/ˈbrɛksɪt, ˈbrɛɡzɪt/) was a movement that promoted that the United Kingdom (UK) leave the European Union (EU). The name "Brexit" is a portmanteau of "British" and "exit".

On 23 June 2016, the UK made a referendum that asked whether the UK should leave the EU. The result was that 51.9% of the UK electorate (the main region of the UK) voted that the UK should leave the EU. The rest wanted the UK to stay in the EU. On 29 March 2017, the UK government said that they will definitely be leaving the EU. This started the procedure of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, a law that deals with countries that leave the EU. The UK was expected to fully leave the EU on 29 March 2019 at 11 p.m. UTC.[1] The deadline to leave was later changed to 31 October 2019.[2]

On 15 January 2019, Theresa May's government was defeated in the House of Commons by 230 votes in a vote on her deal to leave the European Union.[3]

On 24 December 2020, a post-Brexit trade deal was made.[4]



Below is a timeline of major events relating to Brexit.[5]

  • 22 May: 2014 European election: Anti-EU party UKIP led by Nigel Farage comes first, while pro-EU parties suffer.
  • 25 November: All EU members accept a withdrawal agreement.
  • 15 January: The UK House of Commons reject the agreement.
  • 21 March: The UK House of Commons reject it again. Instead, they decided to extend the due date to 31 October instead of 29 March.
  • 23 May: Brexit Party comes first in the European Election while pro-EU Lib Dems comes second. After the conservative party slips to 5th place, Theresa May announces her resignation and that a new party leader will be found.
  • 24 July: Boris Johnson becomes the prime minister of the United Kingdom.
  • 19 October: The UK House of commons rejects Boris' deal and force the prime minister to write to the EU asking to extend the due date to 31 January 2020 instead of 31 October 2019.
  • 28 October: The European Council agrees to extend the Brexit deadline until 31 January 2020.
  • 6 November: Parliament is dissolved as a general election is announced to take place on 12 December.
  • 12 December: A general election is held in the UK. The pro-Brexit Conservative party remains the largest party and gains a majority of 80 seats. Labour suffers their worst election since 1935.
  • 20 December: The withdrawal agreement is passed meaning the UK will leave the EU on 31 January.
  • 31 January: The UK membership with the EU comes to an end. The UK will now enter the transition period for 11 months. This means that the UK will still be guaranteed customs union and single market (free trade) until 31 December.
  • 1 July: The deadline for the UK to extend the transition period, which did not get extended.
  • 24 December: A deal is made between the UK and the EU, post-Brexit.[4]
  • 31 December: The date the UK is set to leave the EU. The transition period was not extended.[7]


  1. "Brexit preparedness". European Commission. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  2. Tusk, Donald (10 April 2019). "EU27/UK have agreed a flexible extension until 31 October. This means additional six months for the UK to find the best possible solution". @eucopresident. Twitter. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  3. "Brexit: Theresa May's deal is voted down in historic Commons defeat". BBC News. 15 January 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "UK and EU agree post-Brexit trade deal". BBC News. Retrieved 2020-12-24.
  5. See also Khetani-Shah, Sanya; Deutsch, Jillian. "Brexit timeline: From referendum to EU exit". Politico Pro. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  6. 6.0 6.1 MPs vote to demand Brexit plan and say article 50 should be triggered by the end March – as it happened (Guardian). Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  7. "Brexit: What is the transition period?". BBC News. 20 December 2019.