Brexit... brief

The British Parliament has voted to leave the EU with an agreement, which has taken place on 31 January 2020. A transitional period is now open until 31 December 2020. During this transition period, EU law continues to apply to the UK. The United Kingdom has confirmed its will not to extend this transitional period beyond the 31 December 2020.

The purpose of this transitional period is to negotiate the agreements which will govern future relations between the EU and the United Kingdom. For a text to be ratified before the end of the transition period, a full legal agreement is needed by 31 October 2020. Negotiations are underway...

In the absence of agreements between the EU and the UK during this transition period, the option of a hard-Brexit (divorce without agreement) is still possible.

Key dates

  • 23 June 2016

    Referendum – 51.9% of votes in favour of Brexit

  • 19 June 2017

    Start of formal negotiations between the EU and the United Kingdom

  • 15 January 2019

    Rejection of the withdrawal agreement by the British Parliament, followed by successive postponements of the Brexit date.

  • 17 October 2019

    EU adopts exit agreement

  • 9 January 2020

    British MPs approve exit agreement

  • 1 February 2020

    The UK exits the EU

  • March 2020

    Negotiations on future EU-UK relations start, opening a transition period until 31 December 2020 during which EU law continues to apply to the UK