On 23 June 2016, the historic referendum on continued EU membership was held in the United Kingdom. It was the second similar referendum in slightly more than 40 years – in June 1975, over 67% voters supported UK membership in the EEC.
The continued EU membership was narrowly rejected, by 51,9% to 48,1%. No-votes were received from 17,4 million people and yes-votes from 16,1 million people. The total number of voters amounted to 33,6 million people, forming 72,2% of the citizens eligible to vote. The United Kingdom as a whole as well as England and Wales were in favour of leaving the EU, while Scotland and Northern Ireland voted against leaving.
The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) was a ministerial department from 14 July 2016 to 31 January 2020. It was responsible for overseeing negotiations to leave the EU.
In the Brexit negotiations the EU was represented by Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier. Guy Verhofstadt was chief Brexit representative for the European Parliament. The Estonian representative in Brexit issues was Matti Maasikas, Undersecretary for European Affairs, who also leaded the corresponding national working group.
The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020.
24 January 2020 - The representatives of the UK and the EU signed the Withdrawal Agreement.
29 January 2020 - The European Parliament approved the Withdrawal Agreement.
31 January 2020 - The Council of the European Union concluded the Withdrawal Agreement.
1 February 2020 - The United Kingdom became a third country.
The transition period starts on 1 February 2020 and ends on 31 December 2020. The negotiations on the future partnership between the European Union and the United Kingdom will formally open on Monday 2 March 2020.
Keywords: Brexit, referendum, Britain, United Kingdom, UK, David Cameron, European Union, Theresa May, “Hard Brexit”, “Soft Brexit”, Article 50, Withdrawal from EU.
Hashtags: #Brexit #Britain #EUreferendum #EUref
Editor: Merle Tõniste