In June 2016 the United Kingdom (UK) voted in a referendum in favour of withdrawal from the European Union ("Brexit").
Art. 50 TEU stipulates special provisions for the withdrawal of a Member State. Thus, a Member State which decides to leave must inform the European Council of its intention. Only then will the negotiations on a withdrawal agreement commence. With effect from the date on which the withdrawal agreement comes into effect or two years after invoking Article 51 the treaties cease to apply, unless the European Council unanimously resolves by mutual agreement with the Member State concerned to extend this deadline.
On 29 March 2017 Theresa May submitted the withdrawal notification. The negotiations between the EU and the UK concerning the withdrawal officially started on 19 June 2017 and must be concluded within a two-year period, thus by the end of March 2019.
On 14 November 2018 the United Kingdom and the EU agreed a draft withdrawal agreement. When the withdrawal agreement comes into effect United Kingdom will leave the EU with effect from midnight on 29 March 2019. During a transition phase until the end of 2020 the United Kingdom will continue to have access to the internal market and will participate in the customs union.
However, first of all the withdrawal agreement has to be approved by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Since the premature new elections in June 2017 Theresa May has only had a very small majority in Parliament. It remains to be seen whether she will succeed in gaining enough supporters for the withdrawal agreement.
Timeline: Brexit and other Events relevant to the European Union in this context
Below we provide an overview of the possible legal consequences of Brexit, arranged according to the different areas of law, and further information.