Brexit done: UK-EU divorce final as Boris Johnson hails new dawn

PTI London | Updated on February 01, 2020

The UK officially left the EU on January 31, 2019. Photo: Reuters   -  Reuters

Brexit came into force at 11:00 pm (2300 GMT)

The UK’s divorce from the European Union (EU) came into force on Friday night as it became the first country to exit the economic bloc after 47 years of membership following the vote in favour of Brexit in June 2016.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the historic moment as the dawn of a new era for the UK in his address to the nation just before Brexit.

Brexit came into force at 11:00 pm (2300 GMT).

“This is the moment when the dawn breaks and the curtain goes up on a new act in our great national drama,” said Johnson, in his video message which promised hope and opportunity to every part of the United Kingdom.

“It is not just about some legal extrication. It is potentially a moment of real national renewal and change. This is the dawn of a new era in which we no longer accept that your life chances -- your family’s life chances -- should depend on which part of the country you grow up in,” he said.

Here is the chronology of events that led to Brexit

January 23, 2013: Prime Minister David Cameron promises an in-out referendum on EU membership if his Conservative Party wins the 2015 General Election.

May 7, 2015: The Conservatives make sweeping gains over the Labour Party and secure a majority in the House of Commons.

June 23, 2016: The UK votes in a crucial referendum to leave the EU with 52 per cent of the public supporting Brexit. David Cameron, resign as prime minister.

July 13, 2016: Theresa May wins the Conservative Party leadership contest and becomes prime minister.

March 29, 2017: May sends a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, triggering Article 50. It sets the date for the UK’s departure in two years’ time: March 29, 2019.

April 18, 2017: May announces a snap general election in the UK, to be held on June 8.

June 8, 2017: May loses her Commons majority after her election gamble backfires.

July 17, 2017: Brexit talks officially get underway in Brussels between EU and UK negotiators.

March 19, 2018: The UK and EU publish a draft agreement on Britain’s withdrawal. But the agreement is not totally agreed.

July 6, 2018: Prime Minister May unveils to her Cabinet her much-awaited Chequers plan.

July 8, 2018: The UK’s Brexit minister David Davis resigns in protest. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson follows suit.

November 15 2018: Dominic Raab resigns as Brexit Secretary.

November 25, 2018: The 27 European Union leaders endorse the Brexit deal.

December 13, 2018: Prime Minister May survives a vote of confidence in her leadership of the Conservative Party.

January 15, 2019: MPs reject May’s Brexit plans by an emphatic 432 votes to 202 in a historic vote.

March 12, 2019: MPs again reject the Government’s Brexit deal by 391 votes to 242.

March 20, 2019: May asks the EU to delay Brexit from March 29 until June 30.

March 29, 2019: MPs reject May’s Withdrawal Agreement by 286 votes to 344, majority 58, on the day when the UK was due to leave the European Union.

April 10, 2019: EU apress on a flexible extension to Brexit is agreed until October 31.

May 24, 2019: May announces she is standing down as Tory party leader on June 7.

June 7, 2019: May officially steps down as Tory leader.

July 23 2019: Boris Johnson is elected as leader of the Conservative Party and becomes the UK’s new Prime Minister.

August 28, 2019: The UK Parliament is prorogued, or suspended, for five weeks, upon advice given to Queen Elizabeth II by Johnson’s government.

September 3, 2019: 21 rebel Conservative MPs vote against the government in protest at its Brexit strategy of driving the UK towards an exit from the EU by October 31.

October 3, 2019: The UK government sends a new Brexit plan to Brussels.

October 17, 2019: The UK and EU announce dramatically that they have struck a new Brexit deal, ahead of a Brussels summit.

October 19, 2019: At a special Saturday sitting, British MPs withhold their approval for the deal until laws implementing Brexit are in place.

October 22, 2019: Johnson puts Brexit legislation on pause , citing MPs’ obstacles.

October 28, 2019: The EU agrees to offer the UK a Brexit flextension until January 31.

October 29, 2019: The House of Commons approves a general election on December 12.

December 12, 2019: Prime Minister Johnson’s Conservatives wins General Elections and gain an 80-seat majority in the Commons.

January 23, 2020: The UK’s EU Withdrawal bill becomes law, after a relatively smooth passage through Parliament.

January 29, 2020: The European Parliament approves the Brexit divorce deal under which the UK will leave the EU on 2300 GMT on January 31.

January 31, 2020: The UK officially leaves the EU.

Published on February 01, 2020

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