Brexit so far: Timeline of the key dates as MPs vote on Theresa May's deal

Will Metcalfe
Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street, London, following a meeting of the cabinet, ahead of the House of Commons vote on the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal.

The Brexit countdown is ticking and tonight Theresa May faces the biggest vote of her career so far.

Experts are predicting a humiliating defeat for Mrs May and, if that’s the case, it’s unlikely she’ll be the last high profile politician to be humbled by the Brexit process.

The UK now has just three months until its scheduled departure from the European Union, here we’ve taken a look at just how it got to this.

Prime Minister David Cameron speaks outside 10 Downing Street, London, where he announced his resignation after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

June 23, 2016

The UK votes for Brexit in the EU referendum by 51.9% to 48.1%, prompting then-prime minister David Cameron to resign and be replaced by Theresa May.

Graphics showing the contituencies with the highest percentage of remain, and leave, voters. (PA Graphics)

January 17, 2017

Mrs May gives a speech at Lancaster House setting out the Government’s 12-point “Plan for Britain” and her negotiating red lines, ruling out membership of the EU’s single market and customs union.

Prime Minister Theresa May in the cabinet signs the Article 50 letter, as she prepares to trigger the start of the UK’s formal withdrawal from the EU.

March 29, 2017The PM triggers Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which formally kick-starts a two-year countdown to the UK exiting the EU.

Theresa May making a statement in Downing Street following the General Election in June 2017. (PA)

June 8, 2017

After calling a snap general election to increase her authority, the PM loses her parliamentary majority and has to make a deal with the DUP to stay in power.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, has been a constant thorn in the Prime Minister’s side as she worked to strike a Brexit deal. (PA)

December 13, 2017

Rebel Tory MPs inflict a major defeat on the Government, forcing them to guarantee the Commons a vote on the final Brexit deal.

Protesters have been a constant outside the Houses of Parliament, London, since the EU referendum was decided. (PA)

December 15, 2017

Two days later the first part of the negotiations is completed after a deal is reached on the “divorce bill”, and the so-called Northern Irish “backstop” is first agreed upon.

Prime Minister Theresa May delivers a speech at the Mansion House in London on the UK’s economic partnership with the EU after Brexit in March 2018. (PA)

March 2, 2018

Mrs May gives her second big Brexit speech, this time at Mansion House, outlining her “five tests” for the UK’s future economic partnership with the EU.

Michel Barnier, Chief Negotiator of European Commission outside the Europa Building for European Council talk on Brexit in Brussels, Belgium.

March 19, 2018

A draft Withdrawal Agreement is published, which Michel Barnier and David Davis call a “decisive step” in the Brexit process, setting out the transition period, citizens’ rights and plans for fishing.

David Davis, pictured at Chequers, where Theresa May attempted to have her Brexit plan agreed by Cabinet. (PA)

July 6, 2018

After the The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill becomes law at the end of June, Mrs May takes her Cabinet to Chequers to sign off a collective position for the future Brexit negotiations with the EU.

July 9, 2018

Brexit Secretary David Davis resigns over the so-called “Chequers Plan” to be replaced by Dominic Raab, with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson following him out of Cabinet several days later.

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council speaks during a press conference during European Council Summit in Brussels.

September 20, 2018

At a meeting of European leaders in Salzburg, the PM was delivered a blow as they rejected her proposals out of hand, and EU Council boss Donald Tusk mocked her on Instagram.

November 25, 2018

A 599-page draft Withdrawal Agreement is published after unanimous approval by the EU, but the terms of the backstop to prevent a hard border in Ireland spark anger among Brexiteers and the DUP.

Anti Brexit demonstrators wave EU and UK flags outside at Parliament Square, as the December Brexit vote – which was subsequently delayed, approached.

December 10, 2018

Mid-way through a five-day debate on the Brexit deal, as it became clear she would lose heavily, Mrs May pulls the vote and postpones it until the week of January 14, 2019.

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement in 10 Downing Street, London, after she survived an attempt by Tory MPs to oust her with a vote of no confidence.

December 12, 2018

In response, enough discontented Tory MPs write letters of no confidence to reach the threshold for a vote in her leadership, which she wins by 200 to 117 the following day.

A view of current conditions at the port of Ramsgate in Kent as preparations are made at the site for a no-deal Brexit which could see the port being used to ease the pressure on The Port of Dover.

December 19, 2018

The European Commission starts implementing its “no deal” Contingency Action Plan, covering 14 areas where UK withdrawal without a deal would create “major disruption for citizens and businesses” in the remaining 27 EU states.

January 9, 2019

After returning from the Christmas break, MPs begin five days of debate on the PM’s deal.

A graphic showing the timeline for the remaining three months of the UK’s membership of the EU. (PA)

January 14, 2019

Mr Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker release a letter offering “clarifications” to the withdrawal agreement. Braced for a crushing defeat in the Commons, the PM warns Tory MPs that opposing her risks handing the keys of No 10 to Jeremy Corbyn. The House of Lords votes 321-152 in opposition to her deal.