Brexit developments since shock leave vote

Brexit developments since shock leave vote

Anti-Brexit protesters hold placards, outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain
Anti-Brexit protesters hold placards, outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain, on Aug 28, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Henry Nicholls)

LONDON: Milestones on Britain's rocky road out of the European Union as the British parliament votes Saturday (Oct 19) on the new divorce agreement struck by Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Brussels.

READ: What next after UK, EU agree Brexit deal?

VOTE TO LEAVE

In an advisory referendum on Jun 23, 2016, Britons choose to leave the 28-nation EU by 52 to 48 per cent.

The shock outcome prompts Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, who had led the campaign to preserve Britain's four-decade membership of the bloc, to resign the next day.

MAY BECOMES PRIME MINISTER

Theresa May, the interior minister who also backed remaining in the EU, becomes prime minister on Jul 13.

On Jan 17, 2017 she sets out her Brexit strategy, saying Britain will leave Europe's single market and control EU immigration.

EXIT PROCESS TRIGGERED

On Mar 29, 2017 the government starts a two-year timetable for withdrawal with a letter to the EU Council formally announcing Britain's intention to leave.

The Brexit deadline is set for Mar 29, 2019.

LOST MAJORITY

To strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations, May calls a snap election for Jun 8, 2017.

But the Conservatives lose their parliamentary majority and, to stay in power, strike a deal for support from Northern Ireland's hardline Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

DRAFT DEAL AGREED

On Nov 13, 2018 British and EU negotiators reach a draft divorce agreement. EU leaders approve the accord on Nov 25.

But May faces an angry backlash from her own party over the deal's terms amid fears it would leave Britain interminably trapped in EU trade rules.

REJECTED THREE TIMES

In the first parliament vote on the deal on Jan 15, 2019, MPs vote 432 to 202 against - the biggest government defeat in British parliamentary history.

The next day the government narrowly survives a vote of no confidence.

The House of Commons rejects the deal again on Mar 12 by 391 to 242.

On Mar 27, May promises to resign if her Brexit deal is adopted.

Parliament votes against it for a third time on Mar 29 - by 344 to 286.

DEADLINE DELAYS

The EU agrees to delay Brexit until May 22 and then - at an Apr 10 to 11 summit - until Oct 31, the current deadline.

The delay means Britain is obliged to organise European Parliament elections on May 23, which are won by the Brexit Party of anti-EU populist Nigel Farage.

MAY RESIGNS, JOHNSON ELECTED

The European election defeat prompts May to announce on May 24 that she will step down as Conservative leader on Jun 7.

On Jul 23 Brexit figurehead Boris Johnson is voted in as new Conservative leader, becoming prime minister the next day.

He promises to take Britain out of the EU on Oct 31 with or without a deal.

QUEEN BACKS DELAY LAW

On Sep 9 Queen Elizabeth II gives her approval to a law that would force the government to delay Brexit if it is not able to strike a divorce deal with Brussels.

On Oct 2 Johnson publishes his "final" Brexit proposals, which are rejected by the EU.

On Oct 10 he and his Irish counterpart Leo Varadkar say they see a "pathway" to a deal after talks over the main sticking point - how to keep open the border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, a member of the EU.

NEW DRAFT DEAL AGREED

On Oct 17, the European Union and Britain announce their agreement on a new draft Brexit accord. It is then endorsed at a key EU summit by the other 27 EU members, but also needs approval by the British and European parliaments.

PARLIAMENT VOTES

On Oct 19, the British parliament sits on a Saturday for the first time in 37 years to vote on the agreement.

Source: AFP/nr

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