There’s no denying that Brexit, and the negotiations involved, have been a long and tiresome process.
If you want to refresh your memory on what exactly happened from 2016 to 2021, here’s a complete Brexit timeline.
22 February 2016
The Date for the EU Referendum Vote Announced
In February 2016, David Cameron announced that the UK would vote in an EU Referendum on 23 June, officially launching the Brexit campaign.
23 June 2016
UK Votes to Leave the EU
In June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU, with the leave campaign having won by 51.9% to 48.1%. David Cameron announced his resignation as prime minister the following day.
13 July 2016
Theresa May Announced as Prime Minister
Less than a month after the Brexit vote, Theresa May was appointed as the new Prime Minister, having won the Conservative Party leadership contest by default.
29 March 2017
May Triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty
On 29 March 2017, Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, prompting Brexit with a notice period of two years.
18 April 2017
Theresa May Announced Plans to Hold a Snap General Election
Theresa May called a snap general election in a bid to increase her authority in both the House of Commons and the public eye.
8 June 2017
General Election Saw May Lose Majority and Make a Deal With the DUP
The final result of the 2017 general election saw no seats win a majority. As a result, Theresa May was forced to make a deal with the DUP in order to stay in power.
15 January 2019
May’s Withdrawal Deal Draft Rejected
In January 2019, the UK Parliament held a vote to decide whether or not they accepted the Withdrawal Deal offered by Theresa May. This deal was rejected with just 202 votes for and 432 votes against.
13 March 2019
MPs Say No to a No-Deal Brexit
Parliament voted in favour of a motion which aimed to rule out the UK leaving the EU without a deal, although the result of this vote was not legally binding.
10 April 2019
Deadline Pushed Back to 31 October
Despite the aim to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, a new Brexit deadline of 31 October was announced due to the fact that Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement was rejected three times in total.
24 May 2019
Theresa May Resigned as PM
On the 24 May 2019, Theresa May announced that she was standing down as Prime Minister. On 24 July, May headed to Buckingham Palace to tender her resignation to the Queen.
24 July 2019
Boris Johnson, New PM
Boris Johnson is appointed as the new leader of the Conservative party, now heading up the Brexit campaign.
29 October 2019
UK Parliament Approved General Election
In a similar turn of events to the 2017 election, Boris Johnson called for another snap general election. Parliament approved this, and a new election campaign was launched ahead of the December election.
12 December 2019
Boris Wins Majority
Boris Johnson won the 2019 general election with a comfortable majority of 365 seats. This reignited the nation’s confidence in both the UK government and Brexit as a whole, causing experts to predict that after Brexit, property prices would remain stable.
9 January 2020
MPs Back Withdrawal Agreement Bill
The Commons voted 330 to 231 in favour of Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill – the bill that will implement the UK’s Brexit deal.
31 January 2020
The UK departed from the EU at 11 pm on 31 January 2020. The country has now reached the Brexit transition period before all agreements between the EU and the UK are made by the end of the year.
2 March 2020
Trade Talks Begin
Trade talks officially begin in Brussels. Talks are set to continue every two weeks until a Brexit trade deal can be reached.
19 March 2020
Pressure to Delay Brexit
Chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, reveals he’s caught Coronavirus. which prompts pressure to delay Brexit talks due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
17 May 2020
EU Urged to Show Flexibility
Michael Gove urges the EU to show ‘flexibility’ as signs continue to point towards a no-deal Brexit.
13 June 2020
Support for Transition Period Extension
A survey reveals that over half of Britons support a Brexit transition period extension, while three-quarters of British people believe that the UK should work closely with the EU to combat coronavirus.
21 August 2020
UK Will Not Extend Trade Talks
Negotiator Michael Barnier states that he believes a UK-EU Brexit trade deal is ‘unlikely’. The UK says it will not extend trade talks even if an agreement cannot be reached by the 31st December deadline.
23 October 2020
Trade Talks Continue in London
Trade talks continue as negotiators meet in London. Liz Truss, International Trade Secretary, insists that a deal can still be done due to a new round of intensified daily meetings.
24 December 2020
UK and EU Agree on a Post-Brexit Trade Deal
After months of negotiations, a deal is finally agreed upon, prior to the end of the transition period on 31 December.
31 December 2020
UK Leaves EU After Transition Period
After five long years, the UK officially left the EU single market and customs union at 11 pm.