On 23 June 2016, the UK electorate voted to leave the European Union and on 29 March 2017, the UK notified
the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union
. The European Council adopted a set of political guidelines on 29 April 2017, which define the framework for the negotiations and set out the EU's overall positions and principles. Brexit negotiations
between the EU and the UK began on 19 June 2017.
On 14 November 2018 the Heads of State/Government of the remaining 27 EU Member States approved a Withdrawal Agreement
negotiated by the European Commission and the UK Government. A Political Declaration on future EU-UK relations was also approved at the same time. The agreement, which was endorsed by the European Council on 25 November 2018, includes a transition period up to the end of 2020, during which the EU will treat the UK as if it were a Member State, with the exception of participation in the EU institutions and governance structures. This transition period can be extended by up to 1 or 2 years to be decided by 30 June 2020.
The Withdrawal Agreement has not yet been ratified by the UK Parliament.
The UK’s membership of the EU was initially due to lapse at midnight in Brussels on 30 March 2019 (or 11pm in London on 29 March 2019), two years from the day it formally notified of its intention to withdraw from the EU.However, the European Council (Article 50) decided, in agreement with the United Kingdom, to extend further the two-year period provided for by Article 50, until 31 October 2019. The Miscellaneous Provisions (Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union) Act 2019 was enacted on 17 March 2019 in preparation for the possibility that the UK fails to agree a deal for their departure from the European Union.