2016 Referendum resulted in 51.9% voters voting to ‘Leave‘ EU. Pro-Euro Cameron resigned and Theresa May held office. On March 29, 2017, May revoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Revoking the Article is the first step if a country voluntarily wants to leave the EU. May also stated that UK would not be a part of the EU Customs Union and the Single Market, and that European Court of Justice (ECJ) would not have jurisdiction over UK. The Brexit date was formalized to be 29 March 2019 even if Britain had a ‘no-deal Brexit‘ with the EU. It must be noted that Northern Ireland and Scotland voted against Brexit.
One of the issues that hindered the problem was UK’s demand to build a hard border between Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is a part of the UK. Interestingly, Northern Ireland, which voted against Brexit, will continue to follow EU norms. Whereas Scotland is mulling over an independence referendum.
Britan’s Exit Deal negotiation stretched for two years. In 2018, the EU rejected the UK-prepared revised Exit proposal that outlined UK – EU ties post-Brexit. EU and UK were to decide upon the divorce on fronts of legality, politics, economic policies, trade & commerce, migration laws, aerospace laws, etc.
May’s Brexit Proposal got rejected three times in the UK House of Commons. Brexit Date got extended from March 29, 2019, to 30 June 2019 to 31 October 2019. In the compelling European Parliament Elections of May 2019, the pro-Brexit Party won. Thersa May resigned and Boris Johnson was asked by the Queen to form the government.
On 17 October 2019, EU and UK agreed on the revised Exit proposal. Extending the Brexit Date for the third time, EU deferred it to 31 January 2020. Boris Johnson, PM of UK, presented EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill which passed in the House of Commons and later in Parliament, once MPs were assured that a ‘no-deal Brexit‘ is off the table. It received Royal Assent on 23 January 2020.The Act is up for a vote in the European Parliament on 29 January 2020. With the Brexit date on 31 January 2020, the UK must get the Act passed in the European Parliament or either get an extension or settle for a ‘no-deal Brexit‘ – a scenario in which Britain exits EU without withdrawal agreement.
If the Act passes, the UK will undergo an 11-month transition period. During that period, UK and EU will negotiate the terms and conditions on trade, aviation, water treaties, law, data security and sharing, utility supplies, pharma treaties, etc. ECJ will hold jurisdiction over UK and almost all the rules including movement in UK by citizens of EU members, and of Britons in EU will remain the same.