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United Kingdom exit from the European Union/Timelines

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A timeline (or several) relating to United Kingdom exit from the European Union.



  • 24th:
counting completed and results officially announced;
UK Prime Minister David Cameron notified the nation of his intention to step down;[2]
a significant downturn in global stock markets took place, in which Sterling significantly weakened;[3]
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she might well seek a second referendum on the nation leaving the UK.
  • 24th/25th?
Oliver Letwin put in charge on interim basis of unit to plan for exit[4]
  • 25th:
the UK member of the European Commission, Lord Hill, resigned his seat;[5]
Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn was sacked at midnight by the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, for questioning his leadership of the Labour Party's 'remain' campaign after it emerged that many Labour-supporting areas had strongly-backed Brexit.
  • 26th:
a series of senior Opposition figures resigned amid calls for Jeremy Corbyn to step down as Labour leader;
the Scottish First Minister suggested that the Scottish Parliament might block UK withdrawal;[6]
a petition on the UK government website for a second referendum on EU membership reached over three million signatories;[7]
The Liberal Democrats announced a new policy of re-entering the EU;[8]
HSBC indicated that some staff would be moved from London to Paris if the UK left the EU's single market.[9]
  • 27th:
further falls on global stock markets, with trading in stocks of some UK banks briefly suspended;
finance minister George Osborne and the Prime Minister sought to calm fears through public statements;
the majority of senior figures in the Labour Opposition had resigned by the afternoon, and a confidence vote on Jeremy Corbyn's leadership was called for the following day.
  • 28th:
Prime Minister Cameron met with EU leaders to discuss the Brexit vote.
Corbyn defeated by 172 votes to 40 in confidence vote among Labour MPs; refuses to resign.
  • 29th:
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon held talks with senior EU figures on protecting Scotland's relationship with the EU, but no agreement was reached.
For the first time in its 41-year membership, the UK was excluded from a full meeting of EU state representatives, who discussed their positions on Brexit.
  • 30th:
Boris Johnson, who had widely been expected to stand, ruled himself out of the Conservative leadership, having lost the support of his aide Michael Gove. Five candidates were nominated by deadline: Stephen Crabb, Liam Fox, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May.
Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, warned of further weakness in the UK economy as a result of the referendum.


  • By early July, stocks had regained much of their lost ground, but public opinion polls indicated that support for Brexit might be weakening.[10]
  • 4th:
Nigel Farage resigns as leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party.
  • 5th:
1st leadership ballot of Conservative MPs: May 165, Leadsom 66, Gove 48, Crabb 34, Fox 16, abstention 1 (the Prime Minister chose to be neutral even in private); bottom candidate Fox eliminated by the rules; Crabb withdraws.
  • 7th:
2nd ballot: May 199, Leadsom 84, Gove 46, abstention 1; Gove eliminated; final ballot to be held by all party members.
  • 11th:
Angela Eagle challenges Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership
Andrea Leadsom withdraws from the Conservative leadership contest; Theresa May officially declared the winner
  • 12th:
Labour Party National Executive Committee declared that Jeremy Corbyn would automatically be a candidate in any leadership contest.
  • 13th:
Owen Smith joins Labour leadership contest.
David Cameron resigned as Prime Minister and was replaced by Theresa May.
Leave campaigner David Davis appointed as Cabinet minister in charge of exit process.
  • 13th/14th:
Other leave campaigners appointed to international-facing departments: Boris Johnson (Foreign Office); Liam Fox (International Trade, newly created); Priti Patel (International Development).
  • 19th:
Angela Eagle withdraws from Labour leadership contest
  • 28th:
High Court upholds Labour NEC ruling on nominations


  • 24th:
Jeremy Corbyn confirmed as Labour leader.


  • 3rd:
High Court rules government requires Parliamentary approval to give official notice of leaving; appeal expected to Supreme Court


  • 7th:
House of Commons votes 448 to 75 for Government plan to give 2 years' notice of leaving by end of March 2017 ([3])



  • 17th:
May announces UK will not seek to remain in the Single Market
Sturgeon responds by saying another Scottish independence referendum is now likely
  • 24th:
Supreme Court upholds High Court ruling of 3 November (above), requiring an Act of Parliament to give notice of leaving


  • 1st:
House of Commons gives 2nd reading to bill authorizing Prime Minister to give notice of leaving, by 498 votes to 114
  • 2nd:
Government white paper giving more detail on negotiating position
  • 7th:
Government announces that on conclusion of negotiations Parliament would be able to choose between draft deal and default rules of World Trade Organization
  • 8th:
House of Commons gives 3rd reading to above bill, by 494 votes to 122


  • 13th:
Sturgeon announces she will definitely seek authorization for another Scottish independence referendum
House of Lords passes above bill
  • 16th:
Royal Assent to bill
  • 28th:
Scottish Parliament votes to request a new independence referendum
Prime Minister signs letter giving official notice of leaving
  • 29th:
Letter officially handed over by diplomat Sir Tim Barrow to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council[11]
  • 30th:
Government publishes White Paper giving more deatil of its plans


  • 19th:
House of Commons gives necessary 2/3 vote for a government request for a general election
  • 29th:
The other 27 members agree their initial negotiating position


  • 8th:
general election
  • 9th:
results: 317 Conservatives, 262 Labour, 35 Scottish National Party, 12 Liberal Democrats, 10 Democratic Unionists, 7 Sinn Fein, 4 Plaid Cymru, 1 Green, 1 Independent and the Speaker
  • 19th:
official negotiations begin


  • 13th:
government publishes bill to repeal European Communities Act 1972


House of Commons gives second reading to bill by 326 to 290


  • 8th:
Conclusion of first phase of negotiations, with preliminary agreement on financial obligations, expatriate rights and the Irish border
  • 13th:
Agreement approved by European Parliament
  • 15th:
Agreement approved by leaders of the other 27 members



  • 17th:
Bill, as amended, given 3rd reading in Commons by 324 to 295[13]


  1. BBC News: 'EU Referendum Results'. 24th June 2016.
  2. BBC News: 'Brexit: David Cameron to quit after UK votes to leave EU'. 24th June 2016.
  3. BBC News: 'Pound plunges after Leave vote'. 24th June 2016.
  4. [1]
  5. Daily Telegraph: 'Britain's EU Commissioner Lord Hill quits after Brexit vote - as experts warn City could suffer'. 25th June 2016.
  6. BBC News: 'Nicola Sturgeon says MSPs at Holyrood could veto Brexit'. 26th June 2016.
  7. Huffington Post: 'Second EU Referendum Petition Started By Leave Voter William Oliver Healey'. 26th June 2016.
  8. Guardian: 'Lib Dems to pledge British return to EU in next general election'. 26th June 2016.
  9. BBC News: 'HSBC 'to move jobs to Paris if UK leaves single market''. 26th June 2016.
  10. Independent: 'Brexit research suggests 1.2 million Leave voters regret their choice in reversal that could change result'. 1st July 2016.
  11. legally a distinct body from the European Union Council or Council of Ministers
  12. The vote took place after midnight, but by legal fiction a sitting of either House of Parliament is counted as completed on its opening day.
  13. [2], end