Brexit Timetable Laid Out

Brexit reached a watershed on 24th March 2018 as a draft treaty was approved by the EU council of ministers.

I thought we would set out the timetable for EU Brexit as a timeline.

The UK joined in with the EU common market in 1973 - 45 years ago.

20 years later trains started running from Waterloo into the heart of Europe, to Brussels, 30 miles from Waterloo. Lets start there.


1815 - on 18th June the Battle of Waterloo was the conclusion of a great European war involving the UK.

An Irishman Arthur Wellesley led the British and Prussian army to victory over the French Emperor Napoleon. Arthur Wellesley later went on to serve as UK Prime Minister - twice.

2015 - 200 years later a UK election was won including a promise of a referendum on continued EU membership.

2016 on 23rd June the UK election voted for Brexit. The train was leaving Brussels taking everything UK back to Waterloo station. 

The referendum was not Brexit though, but the first step, these things take time.

On Joining the EU

1950 -The EU started in the aftermath of World War Two as a Steel and Coal Trade organisation of 6 countries. 

1957 - it became the EEC European Economic Community in 1957.

1969 - The UK was not involved in this European Trade group primarily because of French President De Gaulle said ‘non’ to UK membership. Only in 1969 when he resigned as French president did negotiations to allow the UK join the EEC begin.

1973 - It took 3 years of negotiations for the UK to join the EEC on 1/1/1973. Just as it is taking 3 years of negotiations to leave the EU club now. 

Growth of Ambitions.

Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm, Hitler all had ambitions of creating a unified European state. From the initial 6 member states the EU has grown and grown until 2018, to 28 member states with a population of 508 million people. And that has been sown the seeds of Brexit.

1993 - The EEC became the EU in 1993 after the Maastricht Treat was introduced. This helped create the culture of eurosceptics throughout Europe in that it introduced the idea of a European constitutional treaty and the potential of a Federated State. This lead to a number of treaty revisions cumulating in Lisbon Treaty of 2007.

2004 - The seeds of discord had been further spread with 10 countries joining the EU in 2004, and a further 2 in 2007. These new member states changed the balance of European power.

Migration of low salary workers from the south and east of Europe to the rich north created a cultural change that was the foundation of discord especially in the UK and lead to Brexit.

EU Brexit

2016 - 23rd June the referendum was a vote of frustration by the British and the start of the Brexit process.

2017 - 29th March 9 months later the British Government finally triggered Article 50 to start the process of negotiation of EU Brexit by the UK. A process that would take 3 years, just like joining. 

2018 - 24th March one year later a Withdrawal Treaty between UK and EU was agreed. 

2018 - by October an acceptable Withdrawal Treaty is required to allow the EU 28 member states to each vote and accept or reject the treaty. There are possible issues here despite an intention to agree.

2019 - 29th March is Brexit Day. The day EU Brexit is staged, but nothing will change. The UK will legally not be a member of the EU, but will still be bound by EU laws and rules for the 21 months during the transition period.

2020 - 31st December is the end of the Transition period. The UK can have trade agreements signed during the transition period but the EU will not allow any to be implemented before this date.

2021 - 1st January the first true day of Brexit. The UK is out of the EU and enabled to have free trade agreements with the wide world - population 7 billion.

Brave New World

The timetable for EU Brexit for Expats is set. 

The 4 freedoms of EU citizens will be lost by UK citizens restricting their free movement of people, capital, services and goods.

But EU Expats also lose the right to the 4 freedoms in the UK.

Rewatch March's webinar

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