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This timeline covers key events, cases and developments that will lead the United Kingdom towards exiting the European Union. For more information on Brexit, visit our dedicated topic hub.


  • Case
  • Development
  • General
  • Regulation
  • Legislation
29 March 2019
UK leaves the EU

The UK is expected to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, in the absence of an agreed extension to the notice period.

March 2019
UK-EU freedom of movement ends

Free movement of people between the EU and the UK ends and a new immigration system takes its place.

By October 2018
Negotiations to be concluded

The negotiations are expected to be concluded to allow time for approval of the withdrawal agreement by the European Council, the European Parliament and the UK Parliament.

By September 2018
Immigration report

Deadline for the MAC to report on the impact on the UK labour market of the UK's exit from the EU and how the UK's immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy.

December 2017
Trade talks

Talks on the UK's future trade relations with the EU are due to start.

October to December 2017
Exit agreement

The EU hopes that the first stage of Brexit negotiations, dealing with the principles of the UK's departure, will be agreed.

Mid-October 2017
EU summit

EU leaders are expected to agree whether enough progress has been made in negotiations on the exit agreement to open trade talks with the UK and discuss possible transitional arrangements.

1 to 4 October 2017
Conservative party annual conference

Brexit is expected to be the major topic.

24 September 2017
German elections

Federal elections take place in Germany.

7 and 11 September 2017
European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

The Bill has its second reading in the House of Commons, when MPs will have an opportunity to debate it.

Late August 2017
Brexit negotiations

The third round of talks is due to take place in Brussels.

27 July 2017
Immigration report

The Home Office commissions the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to report on the impact on the UK labour market of the UK's exit from the EU and how the UK's immigration system should be aligned with a modern industrial strategy. The MAC will engage with Government, business, trade unions and other interested parties.


24 July 2017
US/UK trade talks

The US and the UK are due to open negotiations on a post-Brexit trade agreement.

17 July 2017
Brexit negotiations

The second round of talks begins in Brussels.

13 July 2017
UK position papers

The UK publishes three position papers, setting out its position in relation to the Brexit negotiations. They cover: ongoing judicial and administrative proceedings; privileges and immunities; and nuclear materials and safeguards.  In each case, the Government's position is that the UK will cease to be subject to ECJ jurisdiction and will sever relations with EU institutions.


13 July 2017
EU meetings

Michel Barnier, the EU Commission's chief negotiator, holds meetings with Jeremy Corbyn (leader of the Labour Party), Nicola Sturgeon (First Minister of Scotland) and Carwyn Jones (First Minister of Wales).

13 July 2017
Repeal Bill

The Government publishes the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. It will repeal the European Communities Act 1972 on the day the UK leaves the EU, transfer EU law into UK law, and give the Government two years to correct any deficiencies arising from the transfer.



26 June 2017
EU citizens in the UK

The Prime Minister announces the Government's proposals regarding how it intends to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit.


26 June 2017
Confidence and supply agreement

Confidence and supply agreement made between the Conservative Party and the DUP.  The DUP will support the Government on votes on the Queen's Speech, the Budget, and legislation relating to Brexit and national security.


21 June 2017
State opening of Parliament

The Queen's Speech outlines the Government's legislative and policy agenda for the Parliamentary session 2017-2019. Eight Bills relate to Brexit, including the Repeal Bill, the Trade Bill, the Customs Bill and the Immigration Bill.

19 June 2017
Negotiations begin

Formal negotiations on the UK's withdrawal from the EU begin. The initial focus will be on citizens' rights, a financial settlement and other separation issues (such as protection of the Good Friday Agreement and maintenance of the Common Travel Area).  The UK's future trade relationship with the EU will be discussed later. There will be one week of negotiations every month.

8 June 2017
UK General Election

MPs approved a motion to call a UK general election by 522 votes to 13. The election takes place on 8 June 2017.

8 May onwards
Election manifestos

The general election campaign gets underway, with the parties publishing their manifestos.

7 May 2017
French presidential election (second round of voting)
3 May 2017
Parliament is dissolved

The dissolution of Parliament takes place 25 working days before the election.



May to July 2017
EU position papers

The EU publishes nine position papers setting out its position in relation to the Brexit negotiations. They cover: goods placed on the market under Union law before the withdrawal date; nuclear materials and safeguard equipment (Euratom); ongoing police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters; governance; judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters; ongoing Union judicial and administrative procedures; issues relating to the functioning of the Union institutions, agencies and bodies; essential principles on citizens' rights; and essential principles on the financial settlement.


29 April 2017
Summit of the EU 27

Summit of the EU 27, at which the negotiating guidelines are adopted.

31 March 2017
EU negotiation guidelines

The President of the European Council publishes draft negotiation guidelines for the EU 27 (the EU members excluding the UK).

30 March 2017
Great Repeal Bill

A white paper, giving details of the Bill, is published.


29 March 2017
Triggering of Brexit

Article 50 notice is given, triggering Brexit. The notice period is two years.

25 March 2017
Treaty of Rome

60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, which led to the founding of the EEC.

16 March 2017
European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act

The Bill receives Royal Assent and becomes an Act, giving the Government the legal power to formally begin the Brexit process by notifying the European Council of the UK's intention to leave the EU.

15 March 2017
Dutch General Election
13 March 2017
European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

Parliament passes the Bill, which will give the Government authority to give notice to the EU under Article 50.

8 February 2017
The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

Third reading in the House of Commons; Bill passed by 494 votes to 122. It now moves to the House of Lords.

2 February 2017
Brexit white paper

The Government publishes its white paper on the UK's exit from and new partnership with the EU, formally setting out its strategy for leaving the EU.


1 February 2017
The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal Bill)

The Bill is passed in the House of Commons by 498 votes to 114. It will now move on to the committee stage in the House of Commons, then the House of Lords.


26 January 2017
The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

The Government publishes the draft legislation that will allow the UK to start the process of leaving the EU. The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has been produced after the Supreme Court ruled legislation is necessary.


24 January 2017
Supreme Court ruling

Supreme Court rules that Government cannot trigger Article 50 without an Act of Parliament but does not have to consult the devolved legislatures in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.



17 January 2017
The Government's negotiating objectives for exiting the EU

Theresa May makes a speech ruling out remaining in the single market or the customs union but states that Parliament will have a vote on any Brexit deal.

9 December 2016
GDPR and Brexit

Bond Dickinson holds an event on data protection: GDPR, Brexit and emerging issues.

5-8 December 2016
Government appeals against High Court decision

The Government's appeal against High Court decision heard by Supreme Court.


4 November
High Court decision on Article 50

High Court rules that Government cannot trigger Article 50 without being authorised by Parliament.



21 October 2016
South West World Trade Summit

Bond Dickinson takes part in the inaugural South West World Trade Summit, organised by the Institute of Export.


The event, held in Taunton, aimed to provide advice and guidance to business leaders in the region to help them prosper in international trade following Brexit.


13,17,18 October 2016
Article 50 judicial review

High Court hears Article 50 judical review case.


2 October 2016
Conservative Party Conference 2016

Theresa May announces that Article 50 will be triggered before the end of March 2017 and the Queen's Speech will include a Great Repeal Bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972.


13 July 2016
Theresa May becomes Prime Minister

Theresa May becomes the second female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. 

24 June 2016
Referendum result and resignation of David Cameron

Result is declared: 51.9% vote to leave, 48.1% vote to remain. Prime Minister David Cameron resigns.


23 June 2016
EU referendum takes place