Welcome to my weekly commentary about Brexit!
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- In a referendum held on June 23, 2016 a majority of British voters supported leaving the EU.
- The process of the UK leaving the EU is known informally as “Brexit”.
- On March 29, 2017 the government of the United Kingdom invoked Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, thereby notifying the EU of its intention to leave the EU.
- The United Kingdom failed to leave the European Union on March 29, 2019 as promised many times by UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
- Subsequently, UK Prime Minister Theresa May arranged that the UK would leave the EU on April 12, 2019, and that date was missed as well.
- Subsequent to that failed attempt to leave the EU, the European Union leadership informed the UK Prime Minister Theresa May that the Brexit date would be changed to October 31, 2019, which was accepted by the UK government.
- Unless the UK House of Commons votes to revoke the Article 50 notification (thereby cancelling Brexit) the UK will automatically and legally leave the EU on October 31. An automatic Brexit on October 31, 2019 is the default for the UK unless some legislation is approved by both the UK and the EU, that changes the status quo.
- October 30-31, 2019: The Early Parliamentary General Election Bill is passed unamended by the House of Lords and, upon receiving royal assent the following day, becomes law as the Early Parliamentary General Election Act 2019.
- November 6, 2019: UK Parliament dissolved.
- December 12, 2019: General election held in which the Conservative Party gain an 80-seat majority in parliament.
- December 20, 2019: The Withdrawal Agreement passed its second reading in the House of Commons in a 358–234 vote.
- January 31, 2020: The deadline set by the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019 (Benn Act) for the UK to withdraw from the EU. The British government conformed to that requirement when, on 28 October 2019, Boris Johnson agreed with the EU that the UK would ratify the withdrawal agreement. Described as a “flextension” by European Council president Donald Tusk, the October 2019 agreement allows the UK to leave before 31 January 2020, on the first of any month, if by then a deal has been approved by the UK and European parliaments