Brexit key dates: Every date left as clock ticks down on transition period – TIMELINE

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Negotiations for a trade deal have so far failed to provide either side with a suitable agreement, and as the end of the transition period draws closer and closer, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to end Brexit with or without a trade deal in place. Brexit represents the most important constitutional shake-up the UK has known since it joined the six-nation European Economic Community all the way back in 1973.

The UK voted to leave the EU by 52 percent to 48 percent in June 2016.

While the UK formally left the EU on January 31, but there is still a lot to talk about and more negotiations to come.

While the UK has agreed on the terms of its EU departure, both sides still need to decide what their future relationship will look like.

This will need to be worked out during the transition period, which began immediately after Brexit day in January and is due to end on December 31, 2020.

There are a few key dates left in the Brexit saga before the UK is fully shot of the institution – and as the legal deadline for signing of an extension has already passed, it’s do or die on December 31, 2020.

August 17: Brexit talks resume

Talks failed to reach an agreement in July and will begin again on August 17 following a break.

The deadline for negotiations has been pushed back to October following the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The UK wants as much access as possible for its goods and services to the EU, but the EU argues that such an agreement defeats the point of leaving the EU in the first place.

Both sides say there are still significant areas of disagreement – for example, on EU proposals for a so-called “level playing field”, which would see the UK and EU maintain similar minimum standards on things like workers’ rights and environmental protection.

But the Government has made clear the UK must leave the customs union and single market and end the overall jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

One of the main disputes in the negotiations is fishing as the EU wants to maintain its rights to Britain’s fishing waters.

Under the controversial Commons Fisheries Policy, all member states are given access to EU waters via quotas.

As the UK has a large coastal area, critics have often argued the system is unfair.

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October 15 – 16: European Council

The European Council will next meet in October, and again in December.

Contents of meetings will likely be decided by the outcome of the remainder of the trade negotiations.

The European Council is the EU’s supreme political authority and its key strategic and crisis-solving body – the place where EU member states interact at the highest political level.

It helps define the long term goals of the EU and discussions about how the EU will move on from Brexit will no doubt be on the agenda.

Despite its seniority, the European Council does not have any formal legislative powers and does not make law.

December 31: End of transition period

Deal or no deal, Brexit will be finalised on December 31, 2020.

Until the end of the transition period, rules on both sides stay the same.

This means rules on policies on freedom of movement and UK-EU trade will continue without any extra charges or checks being introduced for the time being.

But this will change come 11pm on New Year’s Eve – it will result in a complete break from the EU, or it will be the start of a new relationship with those in the EU.

If there is no deal, all EU law will cease to apply to UK in an instant.

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