On 23 June 2016 the UK voted to leave the European Union. In March 2017, then prime minister Theresa May, invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, triggering negotiations on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal and the nature of its future relationship with the EU.

A deal was agreed in November 2018 but this was not passed by parliament, resulting in an extension to the Article 50 process, the resignation of Theresa May and the appointment of Boris Johnson. Mr Johnson negotiated a revised deal and although the associated bill passed its second reading in the House of Commons, parliament did not approve the condensed timetable for the remaining stages.

A further Article 50 extension was granted in October 2019 and, following a general election in December 2020, the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill became law in January 2020. The UK formally left the EU on the 31 January 2020. The UK is now in a transition period which will last until the end of January 2021 and negotiations to secure a free-trade deal between the UK and EU are currently underway.