Brexit before the Article 50 notification – timeline and resources

This is the story of Brexit up to the Article 50 notification in the form of a webpage of resources and links

Under the headings are links to materials for further reading on each issue.  The emphasis is on primary materials and related information.

There are also links to published reports, bodies of evidence, news reports and commentary (including to some of my own) – but these should be seen of secondary importance.

This Page accompanies the resource page on the Brexit negotiations here.

 

BACKGROUND TO UK MEMBERSHIP OF EU

Winston Churchill’s Hague Speech, May 1948 – one of many mentions by Churchill of the idea of European Union

The Spaak Report on the general common market 1956 (English summary)

Treaty of Rome 1957

The European Communities Act 1972

UK signs accession treaty 1972

Lord Cockfield’s 1985 White Paper on completing the single market

The Single European Act 1986

Jacques Delors’ speech to the TUC, September 1988

Margaret Thatcher’s Bruges Speech, September 1988

Treaty of Maastricht 1992

The Lisbon Treaty 2007

Article 50 of the EU treaty as inserted by the Lisbon Treaty

 

LEADING UP TO THE REFERENDUM

January 2013speech by David Cameron the (then) Prime Minister at Bloomberg committing a Conservative government to a referendum if elected in 2015

April 2015 – Conservatives launch their general election manifesto, containing a promise to hold an In/Out referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017 and will “respect the outcome”

 

THE EUROPEAN UNION REFERENDUM ACT 2015

May 2015– The European Union Referendum Bill is presented to parliament

December 2015 –  European Union Referendum Bill receives royal assent and becomes the European Union Referendum Act 2015 – a referendum has to be held by the end of 2017

(Parliament page on the Referendum Act, with links to the debates at each parliamentary stage and official Explanatory Notes for the Referendum Act 2015)

 

THE “DEAL” – FEBRUARY 2016

The EU’s official timeline for the “Deal” with key documents

November 2015 – David Cameron gives a speech at Chatham House, setting out his intentions for renegotiation

Cameron also writes to Donald Tusk with his proposals

December 2015 – Letter by President Donald Tusk to the European Council on UK membership of the European Union

(Early) February 2016 – Letter by President Donald Tusk to the Members of the European Council on his proposal for a new settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union and a draft decision of the Heads of State or Government concerning a new settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union

17th-20th February 2016 – the deal negotiations and outcome

Invitation letter by President Donald Tusk to the members of the European Council, 17 February 2016

Provisional agenda of European Council meeting

European Council briefing for meeting

European Council page for the meeting, with links to agenda and official documents

Conclusions of the European Council meeting held on 18th and 19th February 2016

Remarks by President Donald Tusk after the European Council meeting, 19th February 2016

David Cameron’s statement following the European Council meeting, 19th February 2016

David Cameron’s statement following the cabinet meeting on the “deal”, 20th February 2016

David Cameron Commons statement on EU reform and referendum, 22 February 2016

David Cameron’s statement to the House of Commons, and the parliamentary debate on the “deal” and launch of the referendum campaign, 23 February 2016

Report by President Donald Tusk to the European Parliament on the February European Council meeting, 24 February 2016

24 June 2016 – The European Council states that the ‘New Settlement for the United Kingdom within the European Union’, reached at the European Council on 18-19 February 2016, will not take effect and ceases to exist

Other materials on the “deal”:

Guardian live blog of the “deal” negotiations 19th and 20th February 2016

House of Commons Library “debate pack” for parliamentary debate on EU, 23rd February 2016

 

THE LAUNCH OF THE REFERENDUM – FEBRUARY 2016

20th February 2016 – David Cameron speaks outside 10 Downing Street

20th February 2016- Michael Gove statement on supporting Leave

21st February 2016 – Boris Johnson: “There is only one way to get the change we want – vote to leave the EU” – archived version (original removed for some unknown reason though re-posted a month later)

24th February 2016 – David Cameron launches formal campaign to stay in the EU – news report (the speech itself does not appear to be online)

3 March 2016 – The European Union Referendum Act 2015 (Commencement) Regulations 2016 take effect – the “legal” launch of the campaign

 

THE REFERENDUM CAMPAIGN – FEBRUARY TO JUNE 2016

6 April 2016 – “Why the government believes that voting to remain in the EU is the best decision for the UK”, official publication

13th April 2016 – Electoral Commission designates ‘Vote Leave’ and ‘Stronger In’ as lead campaigners at EU Referendum 

 Vote Leave” campaign site (designated lead campaigner)

“Stronger In” campaign site (designated lead campaigner)

“Leave.EU” campaign site (not designated lead campaigner)

 

REFERENDUM RESULT – 23rd JUNE 2016

 Electoral Commission page on the referendum result

 

UK GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THE REFERENDUM RESULT – JUNE TO SEPTEMBER 2016

24 June 2016 – David Cameron announces resignation

5th July 2016 – (then responsible ministers) Oliver Letwin and David Lidington evidence to Lords committee (transcript)

5th July 2016 – (then responsible minister) Oliver Letwin’s evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee (transcript)

11th July 2016 – Theresa May wins Conservative leadership:  “Brexit means Brexit, and we’re going to make a success of it”

14th July 2016 – As new Prime Minister, Theresa May appoints Brexit supporters Boris Johnson, David Davis and Liam Fox to leading cabinet positions

 

DEVELOPMENT OF THE UK POSITION FROM OCTOBER 2016 TO THE ARTICLE 50 NOTIFICATION

 

The Conservative Party Conference speech

2nd October 2016 – Theresa May speech at Conservative party conference

 

The LancasterHouse speech

17th January 2017 – Theresa May sets out negotiating objectives in Lancaster House speech

 

The Brexit white paper

2nd February 2017 – Government White Paper on Brexit

29th March 2017 – DExEU select committee report on the government’s White Paper

 

Other ministerial statements

1st November 2016 – (then DexEU junior minister) David Jones’ evidence to Lords committee (transcript)

14 December 2016 – David Davis’ evidence to DExEU select committee (transcript)

10th January 2017 – (then DexEU junior minister) David Jones’ evidence to Lords committee (transcript)

15th March 2017 – David Davis’ evidence to DExEU select committee (transcript)

 

Parliamentary scrutiny on development of UK position

14th January 2017 – DExEU select committee report on the process for exiting the European Union and the Government’s negotiating objectives 

17th March 2017Government response to the 14th January 2017 report

 

Coda: The Sir Ivan Rogers resignation

3rd January 2017 – Sir Ivan Rogers resigns as UK ambassador to EU – resignation letter

22 February 2017Evidence of Sir Ivan Rogers to the DExEU select committee

 

Coda: Article 50 and Parliament

13-18 October 2016 – High Court hears case in Miller case.

3 November 2016 – High Court decision in Miller, declaring that the Article 50 notification needs to be done with an Act of Parliament

5-8 December 2016 – Supreme Court hears appeal in Miller case

24 January 2017 – Supreme Court decision in Miller, declaring that the Article 50 notification needs to be done by Act of Parliament.

26 January 2017 – the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill is introduced to parliament

Parliament page on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, with links to the debates on the Bill’s passage

23rd February 2017 – House of Lords select committee report on the Bill

16 March 2017 –  the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill receives Royal Assent and becomes an Act

The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 as enacted

 

 

EU RESPONSE TO THE REFERENDUM RESULT – JUNE 2016 TO ARTICLE 50 NOTIFICATION

24th June 2016press statement by President Donald Tusk on the outcome of the referendum

24th June 2016joint statement by EU leaders on the outcome of the UK referendum

28th June 2016 – Remarks by Donald Tusk at the European Council meeting

8th June 2016Speech by Jean-Claude Juncker to European Parliament

29th June 2016 – Remarks by Donald Tusk after the informal meeting of EU27

27th July 2016 – Michel Barnier appointed as  as Chief Negotiator in charge of the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50 of the TEU

8 September 2016 – Remarks by  Donald Tusk after meeting with Theresa May

13th October 2016 – ‘Hard Brexit’ or ‘no Brexit’, says Tusk – Speech at the European Policy Centre, Brussels

29th November 2016 – Tusk’s response to UK MP’s concerns about status of EU and UK citizens

6th December 2016 – Michel Barnier press briefing

*15th December 2016 – EU27 agree detailed Brexit negotiation procedure – statement

21st March 2017 – Tusk calls European Council meeting for April, to follow impending Article 50 notification

*22nd March 2017Speech by Michel Barnier on “The Conditions for Reaching an Agreement in the Negotiations with the United Kingdom”

 

ARTICLE 50 NOTIFICATION

*29th March 2017 the Article 50 Letter

29th March 2017 – Statement by the European Council on the notification

29th March 2017 – Remarks by President Donald Tusk following the UK notification

 

Coda: role of European Parliament

8th September 2016 – appointment of Guy Verhofstadt as European Parliament representative and co-ordinator for the Article 50 process

*5th April 2017 – European Parliament resolution on Brexit

12th July 2017Evidence of Guy Verhofstadt MEP and others to Lords select committee

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