On June 23, 2016, citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland decided by referendum to exit the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU). Following this vote, the British Government initiated the withdrawal process on March 29, 2017, by activating Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union.
In October 2019, EU leaders 27 and the British side reached a political consensus on the UK's withdrawal agreement. It was subsequently approved by the British authorities and the EU and entered into force on 1 February 2020.
The agreement allows the United Kingdom to exit the European Union in an orderly and predictable manner. At the same time, it establishes a transitional period from 1 February 2020 to 31 December 2020*.
During this period, the United Kingdom will apply the law of the European Union** and will be assimilated to a Member State, but will no longer take part in the decision-making process at EU level. Thus, until the end of the transition period, there will be no changes for citizens, consumers, businesses, investors, students and researchers in the EU and the United Kingdom.
At the same time, the agreement provides for mutual protection for citizens of the Union and nationals of the United Kingdom, as well as for their family members, if they have exercised their right to free movement before the end of the transitional period. Thus, these persons may continue to live, work or study in the host state, as at present, under the same substantive conditions as those provided for in Union law.
The agreement guarantees the right to remain and continue its current activities for over 3 million EU citizens in the UK and over 1 million UK nationals in EU countries.
More information about the BREXIT process:
- Questions and answers about the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union
- Agreement of withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union (EN) + (RO)
* According to the Withdrawal Agreement, the transitional period may be extended once by one to two years. A decision to this effect must be taken jointly by the EU and the United Kingdom by 1 July 2020.
** EU law will continue to apply fully, in all policy areas, to the United Kingdom and its territory, except for the provisions of treaties and acts which were not binding on the United Kingdom prior to the entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement.