THREE and a half years have passed, with three Prime Ministers claiming they could deliver Brexit and – so far – failing to do so, but will Boris bring about Brexit?
After all this time, British politics remains in the grip of a seemingly insurmountable deadlock. But how did we get here? Here’s the latest.
What is Brexit and when is it happening?
Britain voted to leave the EU in a referendum held on June 23, 2016.
However, the result of the vote only became legally binding through a piece of legislation called Article 50.
The bill was signed by then PM Theresa May and delivered to the European Council President on March 29, 2017.
This triggered a two-year exit process, with Britain bound to leave the EU by March 29, 2019.
However, MPs rejected May’s “meaningful vote” on three occasions, leading to May having to seek an extension from Europe.
Brussels granted a six-month extension, resulting in a new exit date of October 31, 2019.
How has Brexit unfolded?
More than three years on, and it’s still unclear when Brexit will actually be delivered.
This timeline should give you an overview of how we’ve got to where we are right now.
- Oct 31 – New Brexit deadline day
- Oct 21-24 – The European Parliament meets in Strasbourg for the last time, marking the departure of UK MEPs
- Oct 17-18 – EU leaders meet with Boris Johnson to address departure terms
- Oct 4 – It emerged Johnson would sent a letter to the EU asking for a Brexit delay if no deal is agreed by Oct 19
- Oct 2 – Boris Johnson sets out new five-point plan to leave the EU, which would create a second border between Ireland and NI
- Sept 29 – Oct 2 – Conservative Party conference
- Sept 25 – Extraordinary debate in the Commons in which Boris Johnson is accused of ‘inciting hatred’
- Sept 24 – Supreme Court finds Boris Johnson’s five week suspension of Parliament broke the law
- Sept 10 – Johnson is defeated by Labour abstainers who blocked his bid to hold a general election for a second time
- Sept 9 – MPs vote on a general election, start of Johnson’s suspension of Parliament and Speaker John Bercow quits
- Sept 7 – Amber Rudd resigns after the PM kicked out Remainer Tory rebels
- Sept 4 – The PM sacks 21 Tory MPs after voting to block a No Deal
- Sept 3 – MPs to introduce legislation aimed at blocking No Deal Brexit with rebel Tories joining Labour
- August 28 – Queen approves suspension of Parliament for up to five weeks in a process known as proroguing
- July 23 – Boris Johnson is named the new PM
- July 22 – Sir Alan Duncan quit as a Foreign Office minister in protest against a possible Boris Johnson victory
- July 9 – Labour announce they will officially back Remain in a second Brexit referendum
- June 22 – Tory party members vote between last two in a postal ballot
- June 7 – May stepped down as party leader. She is leaving her position as Prime Minister without having delivered Brexit
- May 26 – European Elections results: the Brexit Party won 29 seats, Labour had 10 and the Tories had a dismal four
- May 24 – Theresa May PM resigns
- March 29 – On the date the UK was expected to leave the EU, the PM loses Meaningful Vote 3
- March 21 – EU27 leaders agree to delay Brexit
- March 14 – MPs approve motion to seek permission from the EU to extend Article 50
- March 13 – MPs vote to to rule out a No Deal Brexit.
- March 12 – PM loses Meaningful Vote 2
- Feb 26 – PM promises MPs a vote on ruling out a no-deal Brexit or delaying Brexit if she loses the second ‘meaningful vote’ next month
- Feb 14 – Brexit plans defeated in the House of Commons
- Jan 21 – May presents ‘Plan B’ Brexit deal.
- Jan 16 – May clings onto power, winning the vote of no confidence.
- Jan 15 – Government suffers huge defeat, losing the Meaningful Vote by a majority of 230. Opposition tables a vote of no confidence in the Government, to be held the next day.
- Dec 11 – May survives a vote of no confidence in her leadership of the Conservatives
- Dec 10 – May pulls planned final vote on Brexit deal
- Dec 4 – MPs begin five days of debates ahead of ‘Meaningful Vote’ debate on December 11
- Nov 24 – EU27 leader endorse Withdrawal Agreement and approve the declaration on future EU-UK relations
- Nov 15 – Now Dominic Raab resigns as Brexit sec, is replaced by Stephen Barclay the next day
- Nov 14 – Withdrawal agreement is agreed and published
- Aug 23 – Gov publishes first collection of technical notices on how to prepare for a No Deal Brexit
- July 6 – The now infamous ‘Chequers plan’ is deeply unpopular with Tory big guns. Davis resigns as Brexit sec, replaced by Dominic Raab.
- June 26 – The EU Withdrawal Bill receives Royal Assent and becomes an Act of Parliament.
- June 6 – Brexit sec David Davis accuses the EU of “shooting itself in the foot to see if the gun works”, in planning to weaken security ties with the UK after Brexit.
- May 16 – The EU (Withdrawal) Bill finishes its House of Lords stages and goes into parliamentary ping pong
- Jan 18 – The EU (Withdrawal) Bill has its First Reading in the House of Lords.
- Nov 13 – The Gov announces new Bill to enshrine Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU in domestic law
- Nov 7 – The Government set out further details of how its new settled status scheme for EU citizens will work
- Oct 9 – Fifth round of negotiations begins in Brussels
- Sept 23 – PM delivers key Brexit speech in Florence
- July 14 – Second round of EU exit negotiations begin
- June 19 – First round of UK-EU exit negotiations begin
- June 8 – General Election results in a hung Parliament, Tories win most seats
- April 17 – PM calls for a General Election for June 8, 2017
- March 29 – Article 50 is signed, setting a two-year exit from the EU in motion.
- Jan 24 – Supreme Court rejects Gov’s appeal against the Nov ’16 High Court ruluing
- Nov 3 – The High Court rules in favour of complainant Gina Miller, saying the gov cannot use prerogative powers to give the notice required by Article 50 to withdraw from the EU
- July 13 – Theresa May becomes the new PM
- June 24 – David Cameron PM resigns
- June 23 – Britain votes to leave the EU (51.9% of the vote versus 48.1% voting to remain). The question asked was: “Should the United Kingdom
remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”
What happens next?
Boris Johnson has put forward a new deal to the EU he says he hopes will take Britain out of the union by October 31.
Under his plans, checks would take place away from the Irish border.
Northern Ireland would continue to follow EU regulations on areas such as agriculture, food safety and industrial goods, while the UK would not be obliged to.
However, it’s a long way off winning approval, with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar saying the plans don’t fully meet the agreed objectives of the backstop.
IF we leave the EU by October 31 with a deal, there will be a transition period – probably until the end of 2020 – in which EU law continues to apply to the UK.
But with less than a month to go the PM’s hopes of securing an agreement was fading fast as stubborn Brussels bosses refused to re-open official talks on his bold Brexit plans.
President Macron said he’s set a deadline of the end of the week (October 13) for a decision on whether a deal can be done or not ahead of the crunch October summit.
But Boris has insisted it would be a “historic misunderstanding” if EU leaders thought he would delay Brexit yet again.
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What happens if it’s a No Deal?
This would allow for an implementation period, time for the UK and EU to sort out future trading agreements.
The alternative is a No Deal, meaning the UK would crash out of the EU with potentially chaotic results.
Under this scenario, Britain would leave the EU immediately, without any agreement in place.
The UK would plunge out of the single market and customs union, and leave institutions such as European Court of Justice and Europol.
The UK would no longer contribute to the £9bn annual EU budgey.
Trade would have to be set by the World Trade Organisation, meaning tariffs (taxes on imports) would apply to most business goods that UK sends to the EU.
This could also lead to border checks for goods, causing bottlenecks at Dover.
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