Aisling O’Sullivan plays diarist in this timeline of what you can next expect from the eternal divorce of the United Kingdom from the European Union – mark your calendars, it’s only the beginning of the end. 

January 31

At 23:00, after 3 years of talks and delay, UK officially left the European Union. This marked the beginning of a transition period during which Britain remains inside the customs union and single market, and free movement of people and goods will continue. It comes after two extensions to the original Brexit date of 29 March 2019.

March 1

The EU aims to have its negotiation mandate completed by this date, and signed off on by all 27 remaining member states. This will allow talks to officially begin in crafting a trade deal whose priorities are sure to include continued ease of trade between the regions.


As per Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, an EU-UK summit and declaration is expected in June. It is also the final month to request an extension, but Johnson has refused to consider this option so far. 

July 1

This is the EU’s target date to complete talks on a number of topics that have been set out as a prerequisite for the continuation of talks. These include deals allowing access for EU fishermen to UK waters and access to each others financial services. 

November 26

The EU Parliament’s second to last meeting of the year is the latest possible time that a completed trade deal can be placed before members if it is to have any chance of being ratified before the end of the year. 

December 31

The final deadline. If there is not a trade deal in place by this date, and effective no-deal Brexit will occur, plunging both parties into economic uncertainty.

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