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Brexit and Protocol Timeline II

  • 2021 (November-December) EU-UK Talks Continue | British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference | Agreement on Medicines Supply | Frost Resignation


    29 December
    European Commission publish a guidance notice on the application on EU law in respect to the supply of medicines to Northern Ireland as well as Ireland, Cyprus and Malta. 

    21 December
    New UK Co-Chair of the Joint Committee and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and EU Co-Chair of the Joint Committee and European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič tweet comments from UK and EU perspectives after their first phonecall. 

    19 December
    Foreign Secretary Liz Truss replaces Lord Frost as UK Co-Chair of the Joint Committee and lead negotiator for the UK in talks with the EU. Chris Heaton-Harris MP is appointed Minister of State for Europe and will deputise for the Foreign Secretary on EU Exit and the Protocol as necessary. 

    18 December
    Lord Frost resigns his position as UK Co-Chair of the Joint Committee and Cabinet Minister citing "concerns about the current direction of travel" of Prime Minister Johnson's government. In a letter of response Johnson says that the Protocol is "undermining the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and the territorial integrity" of the UK. 

    17 December
    After another week of UK-EU talks on the Protocol, agreement is reached on the issue of medicine supplies to Northern Ireland, as well as Cyprus, Ireland and Malta. EU Co-Chair Maroš Šefčovič outlines Commission proposals to change EU legislation. The new legislation on supply of medicines will need to be approved by the European Parliament and Council; existing 'grace period' arrangements will continue until end of 2022 to facilitate this.

    UK Co-Chair of the Joint Committee Lord Frost makes a statement on progress. 

    10 December
    Following another week of EU-UK talks on the Protocol, Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee tweet respective statements on progress from the EU and UK perspective.

    9 December
    The first meeting of the EU delegation to the Parliamentary Partnership Assembly takes place. 

    6 December
    UK parliament agree to establish a UK delegation to the EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly, it will consist of 21 MPs and 14 Lords. During a debate in the UK parliament it was confirmed that devolved representatives will not form part of the delegation but may be invited to attend meetings as observers. 

    3 December
    Following another week of EU-UK talks on the Protocol, Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee tweet respective statements on progress from the UK and EU perspective. 

    2 December
    The British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference meets. A communiqué following the Conference underlined the "deep value of strong bilateral cooperation at all levels" between the UK and Ireland. 

    1 December
    Court of Appeal in Belfast hears a challenge to the lawfulness of the Protocol. The appeal was brought after the High Court in Belfast dismissed the case on all grounds earlier in the year. 

    26 November
    Following another week of EU-UK talks on the Protocol, Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee tweet respective remarks on progress from the EU and UK perspective.  

  • 2021 (October-November) EU-UK Talks | Bus Hijacking | Opinion Polling


    23 November
    UK Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Lord Frost delivers a speech on trade policy at the Centre for Policy Studies' Margaret Thatcher conference. Frost describes the Protocol as "an issue of the highest national interest". 

    EU General Affairs Council discuss EU-UK relations, EU Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Maroš Šefčovič updates ministers on latest developments concerning the Protocol. 

    First joint board meeting of Equality Commission for NI, NI Human Rights Commission and Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission takes place in view of the Commissions shared mandate for monitoring citizens rights under Article 2(1) of the Protocol. 

    19 November
    After another week of EU-UK talks, UK Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Lord Frost says "progress" has been made on medicines but "significant gaps remain across most issues" and riterates the UK government's preparedness to use Article 16 if no agreements are reached. EU Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Maroš Šefčovič, welcomed progress on the issue of medicines while stating it to be "essential that the recent change in tone now leads to joint tangible solutions in the framework of the Protocol". 

    The British-Irish Council held its 36th Summit meeting in Wales.

    12 November
    In a statement following another week of EU-UK talks on the Protocol, EU Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Maroš Šefčovič, "acknowledge[d] and welcome[d] the change in tone of discussion with [Lord] David Frost" and stated his "hope this will lead to tangible results for the people in Northern Ireland". 

    10 November
    Speaking in the House of Lords, UK Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Lord Frost, says "there is more to do" in EU-UK talks and the UK government are therefore "certainly not at [the] point yet" of triggering Article 16 of the Protocol. 

    5 November
    EU Co-Chair Maroš Šefčovič releases a statement after meeting UK Co-Chair Lord Frost amid ongoing talks on the Protocol. 

    Findings from University of Liverpool-commissioned survey finds evidence of "inter-community consensus" in Northern Ireland for practical resolution of issues related to implementation of the Protocol. 

    3 November
    Speaking in the Dáil, Taoiseach Micheál Martin says it would be "irresponsible and reckless" for the UK to use Article 16 of the Protocol. Martin warned that a UK decision to use Article 16 would have "far reaching implications" for the EU-UK relationship.

    1 November
    A Translink bus is hijacked and set on fire in Newtownards, Northern Ireland, by masked men. Loyalist paramilitary group, the Protestant Action Force claim responsibility with those involved citing anger over the Protocol as justification. 

    31 October
    Writing in The Telegraph newspaper, EU Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Maroš Šefčovič, says he is "increasingly concerned that the UK Government will refuse to engage with [EU proposals] and embark on a path of confrontation".

    30 October
    After meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says EU-UK talks on the Protocol have been "constructive" but that "substantial gaps remain" between the positions of the two sides. 

    28 October
    Post-Brexit Governance NI latest 'Testing the Temperature' poll finds over half of respondents see the Protocol as 'on balance a good thing' for Northern Ireland yet a clear majority continue to view the Protocol as having a negative impact on a range of matters including political stability, NI's place in the UK internal market and British-Irish relations. 

    18 October
    Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee - EU Vice President Maroš Šefčovič and UK Cabinet Office Minister Lord Frost - release separate statements following their meeting on 15 October. 


  • 2021 (September-October): Joint Unionist Declaration | Frost Speech | EU Proposals | UK-EU Talks


    15 October
    A sectoral meeting of the North-South Ministerial Council on healthcare goes ahead with DUP Ministers present. First Minister Paul Givan says the decision is in line with his party's stance on continuing cross-border cooperation in health and does not reflect a step a way from the DUP's boycott of general NSMC meetings. Ministers approve £1bn PEACE PLUS funding at the meeting.

    13 October
    European Commission sets out proposals to address "the difficulties that people in Northern Ireland have been experiencing because of Brexit" - four EU non-papers outline measures relating to customs, SPS, medicines and NI stakeholder engagement. The UK and EU will hold talks on the two sides proposals regarding the implementation of the Protocol. 

    12 October
    UK Co-Chair of Joint Committee Lord Frost delivers a speech on 'the present state of the nation' covering UK-EU relations and the Protocol ahead of a planned EU announcement of new measures regarding implementation of the Protocol.  

    11 October
    High Court Judge in Belfast rules that DUP Ministers "decision to withdrawal from the North-South Ministerial Council was and is unlawful". Mr Justice Scoffield ruled the DUP's boycott of NSMC meetings was in contravention of the Ministerial Code and legal obligations under the Northern Ireland Act 1998; the Court took no further action but reserved the right to do so if the DUP respondents did not comply. 

    4 October
    At the Conservative Party Conference, UK Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Lord Frost, says the UK is planning to send legal texts to the EU based on the recent UK Command Paper. Frost warns without an agreed solution the UK would use Article 16. 

    30 September
    EU Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Maroš Šefčovič, updates the European Parliament's Conference of Presidents on the implementation of the Protocol and related issues.  

    28 September
    Leaders of the four main unionist parties in Northern Ireland - the DUP, UUP, TUV and PUP - sign a declaration affirming their opposition to the Protocol and calling for it to be "rejected and replaced" by arrangements that "fully respect Northern Ireland's position as a constituent and integral part" of the UK. A video message accompanied the declaration release. 

    26 September
    BBC's Andrew Marr asks European Commissioner for Financial Services, Mairead McGuinness, about the prospect of the UK using Article 16. McGuinness says "threats are not helpful and Article 16 is used in very extreme circumstances". 

    24 September 
    Ninth meeting of the EU-UK Specialised Committee takes place. The UK Government and European Commission publish separate press releases. 

    22 September
    Speaking at the start of talks with the UK Prime Minister, US President Joe Biden warns that peace in Northern Ireland must not be jeopardised by the outworkings of Brexit. 

    16 September
    UK Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Lord Frost, says that any involvement of political opinion or institutions in Northern Ireland on the implementation of the Protocol "is for the UK Government" to decide and suggests "the EU should exercise caution in suggesting" Northern Ireland involvement in the governance of the Protocol. 

    15 September
    DUP leader Sir Jeffery Donaldson gives evidence to the Lords Constitution Commitee on future governance of the UK. 

    14 September
    UK government delays implementation of border controls on goods entering Great Britain from the EU. Under a revised timeline, the UK will introduce full customs declarations and controls, and pre-notification on SPS requirements from 1 January 2022 and introduce additional requirements for Export Health Certificates, Phytosanitary Certificates, physical checks and Safety and Security declarations from 1 July 2022. 

  • 2021 (June-September): UK Command Paper | EU Pauses Legal Action | UK Extends Grace Periods | Šefčovič in Belfast
  • 2021 (May- June): Unionist Leadership Changes | G7 | Judicial Review


    18 June
    Recently appointed DUP leader, Edwin Poots, resigns amid internal party tensions.

    17 June
    DUP MLA, Paul Givan, and Sinn Féin deputy leader, Michelle O’Neill, are confirmed as Northern Ireland’s new First and deputy First Ministers respectively. Nominated by new DUP leader, Edwin Poots, the appointment of Givan was taken forward despite internal opposition with many DUP representatives unhappy with a decision to agree a compromise whereby the UK government will pass Irish language legislation in October if it is not earlier introduced at Stormont. 

    UK government make formal request to extend the grace period for preparations for new checks and controls on chilled meat products moving GB-NI due to expire on 30 June. 

    16 June
    UK Co-Chair of the Joint Committee, Lord Frost, gives evidence to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.

    14 June
    Arlene Foster calls on NI politicians to “be good neighbours” to each other in her last statement to the Assembly as First Minister.

    10 June
    At the G7 Summit, US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson sign a New Atlantic Charter and issue a joint statement setting out shared priorities including a ‘commitment to Northern Ireland’ . This comes after it emerged the US had issued a démarche – formal diplomatic reprimand – to the UK government over its position on the Protocol.

    9 June
    In separate statements following the sevent meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee meeting, UK Co-Chair Lord Frost and EU Co-Chair Maroš Šefčovič both reiterate commitment to the 1998 Agreement but make clear there remain disagreements over the Protocol. 

    European Commission publish examples of flexibilities identified to ensure implementation of the Protocol and a comparison of checks required on third country goods. 

    1 June
    Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister and DUP leader Edwin Poots announces an extension to a delay on the introduction of checks on pets travelling GB-NI required under the Protocol.

    24-25 May
    European Council conclusions state the Withdrawal Agreement, including its Protocols, and the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, “should be fully and effectively implemented and their governance structures made operational".

    24 May
    DUP leader Edwin Poots describes the Protocol as “undeliverable” and indicates he may order officials to halt checks on goods entering NI from GB.

    19 May
    Representatives of the Loyalist Communities Council give evidence to the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee during the session, 19-year-old loyalist generates some alarm claiming that “he would not rule [violence] off the table” when it comes to resisting the Protocol.

    Irish Central Statistics Office figures show 44% increase in exports from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland and 22% increase in Republic of Ireland exports to Northern Ireland in the first quarter of 2021.

    17 May
    Doug Beattie is elected as the new leader of the Ulster Unionist Party.

    15 May
    UK Co-Chair of the EU-UK Joint Committee, Lord Frost says the Protocol "cannot be sustained for long” if it "operates so as to damage the political, social, or economic fabric of life" in Northern Ireland.

    14 May
    Edwin Poots is elected as new DUP leader.

    Prime Minister and Taoiseach meet at Chequers to discuss the future of British-Irish relations and reiterate support for the 1998 Agreement. High Court in Belfast hears arguments against the Protocol in legal challenge brought by cross-party group of Unionist politicians.

    8 May
    Steve Aiken announces his resignation as leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. 

    7 May
    Unionist leaders write to the UK Prime Minister, the Taoiseach, the US President and European Commission Vice-President expressing concern about the Protocol.

    5 May
    Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis and Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney meet in Dublin. In a joint statement they commit to convening the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference in June.

  • 2021 (March-April): Unilateral Extension of "grace periods" | Protests in Northern Ireland | UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement Ratified


    29 April
    European Parliament votes to ratify the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement with 660 MEPs voting in favour and 5 against; 32 abstained. EU Co-chair of the EU-UK Joint Committee, Maros Šefčovič releases a statement reaffirming the EU’s commitment to the full implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and Protocol.

    28 April
    Arlene Foster announces her resignation as leader of the Democratic Unionist Party and First Minister in the Northern Ireland Executive.

    A planned North-South Ministerial Council meeting of rural development and agriculture ministers is cancelled after Northern Ireland's Agriculture Minister, Edwin Poots, declines to attend.

    26 April
    A cross-party group of political and religious leaders write to the Prime Minister demanding “urgent” intervention following violent unrest in loyalist areas and at interfaces in Belfast.

    22 April
    European Parliament resolution on EU-UK negotiations calls on the UK government to “act in good faith and fully implement the terms of the agreements it has signed” and calls on the Commission to “pursue with vigour” its infringement proceedings against the UK.

    16 April
    A planned North-South Ministerial Council meeting of transport ministers is cancelled because no unionist representative from the Northern Ireland Executive is nominated to attend. 

    15 April
    Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee hold an informal meeting. Lord Frost describes the meeting as “constructive”, Maros Šefčovič says it took place in a “solution-driven atmosphere”.

    13 April
    Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis makes a statement in the House of Commons about recent violence and disorder in Northern Ireland.

    8 April
    Northern Ireland Assembly is recalled for a debate on support for the rule of law after successive nights of violent riots in Loyalist/Unionist areas and at interface areas of Belfast.

    26 March
    Seventh meeting of Specialised Committee on the Protocol is held in a "constructive atmosphere" according to statements from the UK and EU

    17 March
    US President Joe Biden and Taoiseach Micheál Martin release joint statement stating their unequivocal commitment to the Belfast 'Good Friday' Agreement. 

    15 March
    European Commission sends letter of formal notice to UK Government from breach of obligations under the Protocol following unilateral extention of "grace periods". 

    A Judicial Review application brought by unionist politicians against the Protocol is heard in the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast. 

    12 March
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Northern Ireland but does not hold talks with political parties. 

    3 March
    Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, announces unilateral extensions to "grace periods" previously agreed by the EU-UK Joint Committee for supermarkets and their suppliers until 1 October 2021. EU Co-Chair of the EU-UK Joint Committee Maroš Šefčovič expresses "strong concerns" about the UK's action. Frost and Šefčovič discuss the UK's announcement by telephone. 

  • 2021 (January-February): Article 16 Controversy | DUP 'Five Point Plan' | Temporary Halt to Border Control Posts Construction


    27 February
    Junior Northern Ireland Executive Minister Gordon Lyons instructs officials in the Department for Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs to temporarily halt work on the construction of permanent Border Control Posts at ports. 

    24 February
    EU-UK Joint Committee holds first official meeting since the end of the Transition Period. Co-chairs, Michael Gove and Maroš Šefčovič release a joint statement describing “the importance of joint action to make the Protocol work for the benefit of everyone in Northern Ireland”.

    23 February
    Sixth meeting of the Specialised Committee on the Protocol takes place, no statements are made.

    17 February
    Lord Frost replaces Michael Gove as UK Co-Chair of the EU-UK Joint Committee from 1 March 2021.

    11 February
    Co-Chairs of the EU-UK Joint Committee Michael Gove and Maroš Šefčovič issue a joint statement after "a frank but constructive" discussion about the implementation of the Protocol and outstanding issues. 

    10 February
    EU Co-Chair of the EU-UK Joint Committee, Maroš Šefčovič responds to letter from UK Co-Chair Michael Gove sent on 2 February. 

    2 February
    UK Co-Chair of the EU-UK Joint Committee, Michael Gove writes to EU Co-Chair Maroš Šefčovič about the near-triggering of Article 16. 

    DUP publishes a ‘Five Point Plan’ to “free” Northern Ireland from the Protocol.

    1 February
    NI Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots announces the withdrawal of staff implementing Protocol related checks from Belfast and Larne ports due to safety concerns.

    29 January
    A draft piece of EU legislation includes a clause that would have ‘triggered’ the Article 16 safeguard measure in the Protocol. Following immediate and widespread criticism of the move the Commission release a statement withdrawing the draft measure and commit to redrafting the legislation.

    13 January 
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson says goods are "flowing effectively" and in normal volumes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland and describes supply chain disruptions as "teething problems". 

    1 January 
    Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland enters fully into force.

  • 2020 (October-December): Joint Committee Decisions | EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement Reached | Transition Period Ends


    31 December
    The transition period ends at 11pm. EU-UK relations are governed according to the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol, and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement that applies provisionally, pending ratification by the European Parliament.

    30 December
    UK Parliament is recalled and passes the European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020 that gives effect to the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement in domestic law. The Northern Ireland Assembly votes 47 to 38 in favour of a motion declining consent to  the EU (Future Relationship) Act.

    29 December
    The Council of the EU adopt a decision on the signing of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and its provisional application, pending a consent vote in the European Parliament in early 2021.

    24 December
    An agreement is reached on the terms of EU-UK future relations, the text of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement is sealed. The Prime Minister says the deal allows the UK to “take back control” and European Commission President says it is a “fair and balanced” deal – EU Chief Negotiator also makes some remarks.

    Irish Higher Education Minister Simon Harris announces Irish government commitment to provide funding for Northern Ireland students to continue to participate in Erasmus.

    17 December
    At a virtual meeting the EU-UK Joint Committee formally endorse five decisions and a series of unilateral decisions regarding the implementation of the Protocol. Fifth meeting of the Specialised Committee on the Protocol also takes place, no statements are made. UK Internal Market Act 2020 receives Royal Assent.

    9 December
    UK Co-chair of the EU-UK Joint Committee Michael Gove delivers a statement to the House of Commons on decisions reached with the EU regarding the implementation of the Protocol. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister Boris Johnson hold talks about UK-EU negotiations over dinner.

    8 December
    A joint statement from co-chairs of the EU-UK Joint Committee announces their agreement in principle on issues related to the implementation of the Protocol. In view of the agreement, the UK Government withdraws the clauses of the UK Internal Market Bill that led to EU infringement proceedings.

    5 December
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speak and later issue a statement on the progress of EU-UK negotiations. They note significant differences remain on three issues: level playing field, governance and fisheries. 

    18 November
    In response to an Urgent Question, Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office updates the House of Commons on preparations to implement the Protocol.

    5 November
    Fourth meeting of the Specialised Committee on the Protocol takes place.

    21 October 
    EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier delivers a speech in the European Parliament on the progress of EU-UK negotiations. Prime Minister delivers a statement on EU-UK negotiations and invites the EU team to London to resume negotiations later in the week.

    19 October
    EU-UK Joint Committee meets. Michael Gove gives a statement to the House of Commons, updating MPs on the UK’s negotiations with the EU and the work of the Joint Committee.

    16 October
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a statement on negotiations with the EU, suspending the future relationship negotiations, concluding that the UK should prepare for an ‘Australian-style’ trade deal.

    15 October
    European Council meets. The conclusions from the Council reaffirm the EU’s original negotiating mandate. 

    10 October
    Third meeting of the EU-UK Specialised Committee on the Protocol takes place.

    1 October
    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announces the EU will initiate legal proceedings to prevent the UK from trying to use domestic legislation to override aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement.

  • 2020 (July-September): UK Internal Market Bill | Extraordinary Joint Committee Meeting


    28 September
    The EU-UK Joint Committee meets. In a statement following the meeting, EU Co-Chair Maroš Šefčovič reiterates the EU’s opposition to the UK Internal Market Bill.

    22 September
    European Committee of the Regions UK Contact Group holds its first meeting.

    16 September
    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warns the UK Government against reneging on the Withdrawal Agreement and Protocol in her first ‘State of the Union’ address.

    11 September
    The European Parliament UK Coordination Group says the Parliament will refuse consent to a UK-EU future relationship deal if the UK disregard the Withdrawal Agreement.

    10 September
    Extraordinary meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee held to discuss the UK Internal Market Bill and the implementation of the Protocol. The UK Government publishes its legal position on the UK Internal Market Bill and the Protocol; the European Commission makes a statement rejecting the UK argument that its UK Internal Market Bill is necessary to protect the 1988 Agreement.

    9 September
    The UK Internal Market Bill is introduced to the House of Commons. The bill includes clauses to disapply aspects of the Protocol.

    16 July
    Second meeting of the EU-UK Specialised Committee on the Protocol takes place. UK Government publishes a White Paper on the UK Internal Market ahead of introducing a dedicated Bill to parliament.

  • 2020 (January-June): NI Executive Restored | UK Leaves EU | Future Relationship Negotiations | UK Command Paper on Protocol


    30 June
    The deadline for the UK to request an extension to the transition period, due to conclude at the end of December, passes.

    25 June
    European Council adopts conclusions on EU-UK relations.

    15 June
    Prime Minister meets Presidents of the European Commission, European Council and European Parliament by videoconference. In the meeting, the Prime Minister asks the EU leaders to “put a tiger in the tank” of stalled talks.

    12 June
    The second meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee takes place.

    20 May
    UK government publishes The UK’s Approach to the Northern Ireland Protocol white paper. 

    19 May
    UK government publish ten draft treaty texts it has tabled in the future relationship negotiations alongside a letter from David Frost to Michel Barnier. Barnier responds the following day.

    30 April
    EU-UK Specialised Committee on the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland meets for the first time. 

    30 March
    EU-UK Joint Committee meet for the first time by teleconference, co-chaired by Michael Gove and European Commission Vice-President, Maroš Šefčovič.

    18 March
    The European Commission publish a draft legal agreement covering the future EU-UK partnership.

    27 February
    The UK government publish The Future Relationship with the EU: The UK’s Approach to Negotiations White Paper.

    25 February
    European Council adopts a decision to open negotiations with the UK on a new EU-UK partnership.

    3 February
    Prime Minister sets out the UK Government’s proposed approach to future UK-EU relationship negotiations. European Commission makes a recommendation to the European Council to open negotiations on a new UK-EU partnership.

    1 February
    Transition Period Begins.

    31 January
    The UK leaves the EU. The Withdrawal Agreement enters into force at midnight (CET) marking the end of the Article 50 process and the beginning of an 11-month transition period during which EU law will continue to apply in the UK.

    30 January
    The Withdrawal Agreement is ratified by the EU following approval from the European Parliament.

    23 January
    The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 receives Royal Assent. Section 5 of the 2020 Act gives the Withdrawal Agreement direct effect in UK law by amending the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (new Section 7A).

    11 January
    The Northern Ireland Assembly is restored after parties accepted the ‘New Decade, New Approach’ Agreement.