Global Leadership Bulletin

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One year on from Brexit – a timeline of everything that’s happened

Friday 23 June 2017 marks the 1-year anniversary of the EU membership referendum in which 52% of the voting public suggested to parliament that the UK leave the EU.

That suggestion has since been taken on by parliament with Article 50 triggered at the end of March 2017. It’s been quite a year, including:

·      David Cameron’s resignation

·      Theresa May becoming the new prime minister

·      a plenitude of Brexit-related slogans

·      taut relationships between the UK government and EU politicians

·      the slump of pound sterling

·      the recent shock general election result and resultant hung parliament

·      and much, much more!

Relive an historic year of ‘Brexit meaning Brexit’ – perhaps – in our 1-year timeline of the key events that have taken place since last year’s referendum result.

June 23: The UK votes in a referendum on its membership of the European Union.

June 24: A seismic moment in British history as it is announced that the UK has voted to leave the EU by 52 – 48 per cent. A set of significant political landmarks follows. David Cameron announces that he will resign as prime minister, the pound takes a gargantuan plunge to a three-decade low, and the Bank of England announces that it is ready to support the financial system. The country is in shock, the political landscape completely altered, and everyone starts trying to figure out what this all means.

June 28: The EU response – issued by multiple EU politicians and leaders including Angela Merkel of Germany – is that there will be no informal talks until the UK triggers Article 50 to begin negotiations to leave the EU.

June 30: The Conservative leadership contest becomes prickly. Theresa May announces her candidacy saying “Brexit means Brexit”; Boris Johnson – a major figure in the Leave campaign – says he will not be standing. Andrea Leadsom, Michael Gove, and Stephen Crabb also stand as candidates, but over the coming days, support for May becomes unassailable.

July 13: Theresa May becomes UK Prime Minister naming Boris Johnson as foreign secretary, Philip Hammond as chancellor of the exchequer, Liam Fox as trade secretary, and David Davis as Brexit secretary. In so doing, UKTI becomes the Department for International Trade and the new Brexit department is created.

July 27: Michael Barnier is announced as the person to lead the EU’s Brexit negotiations while May says ‘on the shelf’ models are off the table.

Sept. 12: David Davis confirms that the divorce from the EU – with a new trade deal – could be completed inside two years.

Sept. 16: There are reports that the new chancellor Philip Hammond accepts that the UK could give up its membership of the single market. European leaders meet without the UK for the first time in four decades, at a session in Bratislava, to build a shared vision for the bloc.

Sept. 24: Jeremy Corbyn wins his re-election as leader of the opposition Labour Party after a fractious contest with Owen Smith.

Oct. 2: Theresa May announces plans to trigger Brexit talks before the end of March. At the Conservative Party conference she declares that government will introduce a “Great Repeal Bill” to bring EU laws into UK law to then be reviewed by UK parliament.

Oct. 4: Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s speech, declaring that companies could be asked to publicly list foreign workers, causes controversy.

Oct. 7: A ‘flash crash’ sees the pound once again plunge suddenly – this time by more than 6 per cent – to a 31 year low.

Oct. 12: Public outrage as supermarket prices increase for household favourites including Marmite and Tesco announce they will no longer be selling certain Unilever products as a result.

Oct. 31: Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, announces that he will extend his time in office by a year to 2019.

Nov. 3: The High Court rules that the Brexit process can only commence following a Parliamentary vote, following a court case initiated by lawyer and businesswoman Gina Miller. The pro-Brexit British tabloids react in fury, brandishing the judges ‘enemies of the people’.

Nov. 8: Donald Trump is elected US president.

Nov. 23: Philip Hammond delivers his first autumn statement and reveals estimates that Brexit means the government may need to borrow an extra 58.7 billion pounds.

Dec. 1: David Davis says Britain would consider making contributions to the EU to secure access for trade in the bloc’s single market. Zac Goldsmith – former London mayoral candidate for the Conservative Party – loses his parliamentary seat of Richmond Park following a pro-EU Liberal Democrat campaign.

Dec. 6: After months of different potential outcomes of Brexit being described in various slogans like ‘Hard Brexit’, ‘Soft Brexit’ and ‘Grey Brexit’, Theresa May declares that she is after a “red, white and blue” Brexit.

Dec. 7: The House of Commons votes in favour of the government’s plan to trigger Brexit by the end of March 2017 by 448 to 75.

Dec. 20: Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon declares that continued access to free trade and labour are essential aspects of the UK’s future relationship with the EU for Scotland.

Jan. 3: The UK envoy to the EU Ivan Rogers quits accusing the government of of “muddled thinking” over Brexit. He is replaced the next day by Tim Barrow.

Jan. 16: Donald Trump says in an exclusive interview with Michael Gove in The Times that he will offer a quick and “fair” trade deal between the UK and the USA.

Jan 17: Theresa May lays out some of her key negotiating stances for Brexit during a speech at Lancaster House, including the likelihood that the UK will leave the single market to seek a new trading relationship with the EU.

Jan. 24: The Supreme Court rules that the government must seek parliamentary consent before triggering Article 50.

Jan. 26: A bill is introduced to parliament for the government to have the right to trigger Article 50.

Jan. 27: Theresa May meets President Trump at the White House and Trump states that the US will work on a trans-Atlantic trade deal following Brexit.

Feb. 1: The House of Commons approves the government’s bill 498 to 114 but with amendments to be made.

Feb. 8: The government fends off the amendments to pass the bill in the Commons.

Mar. 1: The House of Lords amends the bill to guarantee rights of EU citizens in the UK.

Mar. 7: Another amendment is made to allow for a ‘meaningful vote’ on the final deal.

Mar. 8: Philip Hammond issues his first budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer, which makes many headlines for raising a tax for self-employed workers (which is subsequently overturned) and includes a fiscal cushion of £26bn to protect the economy from potential risks around Brexit.

Mar. 13: Parliament passes the Brexit bill without including amendments from either house. It is predicted that PM May will trigger article 50 towards the end of Match and Nicola Sturgeon says she will seek a second independence vote for Scotland.

Mar. 20: A spokesman for PM May states that the prime minister will invoke Article 50 on March 29.

Mar. 22: The Westminster terror attack shocks the nation. It also emerges that EU officials are preparing for the UK to walk out of the Brexit talks without a deal.

Mar. 24: Juncker tells the BBC that an exit bill from the EU could total at “around” 50 billion pounds.

Mar. 29: At around 1:20pm in Brussels, a letter is handed to the EU commission declaring that Article 50 has been triggered.

Apr. 1: Lord Howard says the UK could go to war with Spain over the ownership of Gibraltar to the bemusement of parties on all sides.

Apr. 18: PM May announces her intention to hold a snap election in the summer.

Apr. 19: MPs vote to dissolve Parliament ahead of an election.

May 1: Reports are leaked of a difficult dinner of talks between PM May and Juncker in which it is suggested that the PM doesn’t appreciate the scale of the talks ahead.

May 8: Following a heated contest, Emmanuel Macron wins the general election in France, preventing Euro-sceptic Marine Le Pen from becoming France’s leader. This is reflected on as an important moment for the future of the EU following the shockwaves of Brexit almost a year earlier.

May 16-18: The Labour and Conservative parties launch their manifestos. The Labour party is starting to improve what had previously been dire poll showings with a manifesto that promises to cater for the ‘many’ rather than the ‘few’. The Conservative’s manifesto is criticised for controversial plans on social care, pensions and winter fuel allowances.

May 22: A shocking terrorist attack occurs at the Manchester arena at an Ariana Grande concert mostly attended by teenagers and young people. 22 people are killed. Election campaigning is paused.

May 29: With the election campaign now back in full swing, the Labour party is seen to be narrowing the polls. Theresa May declares in a TV interview with Jeremy Paxman that ‘no deal’ is better than ‘a bad deal’, in reference to the UK’s negotiations with the EU.

May 31: A continued narrowing in the poll causes another slump in the strength of the pound.

Jun. 3: Another shocking terror attack takes place at London Bridge. 8 people are killed and the campaigning is again temporarily paused.

Jun. 8: Following a fascinating campaign and a summer fraught with political tensions and a country mourning from multiple terror attacks, the UK goes to the polling booths. A shock BBC exit poll suggests the UK could be heading to a hung parliament.

Jun. 9: As predicted, the UK election results in a hung parliament following an impressive showing from the Labour party and the dismantling of the previous election’s UKIP vote. It emerges that Theresa May is in talks with the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland over talk to form a significantly weakened government. The Pound again slumps as a result of the talks.

Jun. 14: Grenfell Tower, in West London, catches fire and multiple lives are lost, allegedly due to poor cladding and negligent maintenance. The event again causes national grief and an outpouring of anger against the running of the tower and the government too.

Jun. 15: The Queen’s speech to open parliament is announced to take place on June 21 – just two days short of the 1-year anniversary of the EU referendum in 2016. This will make the start of the new Theresa May-led government following the general election.

Jun. 19: Michael Barnier and David Davis begin negotiations on the UK’s exit from the EU.

This article was originally published on the website of The Institute of Export & International Trade


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