In case you forgot how the UK got itself into its Brexit mess...

A timeline of events that have unfolded since former UK Prime Minister David Cameron decided to hold a people's vote on Britain's future relationship with the European Union back in 2013

I mean, who needs croissants anyway?
I mean, who needs croissants anyway?

The UK's House of Commons yesterday narrowly voted against Britain leaving the European Union without a Brexit deal.

The vote came a day after parliament rejected a second withdrawal agreement negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May, leaving both Britain and the rest of the world uncertain about how the Brexit saga will finally be resolved.

Regardless of yesterday's vote, the date at which the UK is meant to leave the union - 29 March - is fast approaching, and if MPs can't back a new deal it will leave without a withdrawal agreement.

Parliament is this evening expected to vote on whether to delay the UK's departure, but how did it all start? 

We've compiled a timeline of events that have led the UK and the EU to this evening's vote.

2013, January

Prime Minister David Cameron says that if his Conservative Party wins the next election, it would seek to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU, and give people a choice, by end 2017, between staying in the Union under the new terms, or withdrawing.

2015, May

The Conservatives win the general election, enabling Cameron to fulfil his party’s electoral manifesto of renegotiating the UK’s EU membership. A “reform and renegotiation” process with the bloc starts.

2016, February

Following intense negotiations, Cameron obtains the signatures of the 27 other EU member states on a reform package. Amongst the highlights of the package is an exemption for the UK from “ever closer union”, and a four-year ban on in-work benefits for new EU migrants. Later that month, a referendum date of 23 June is announced.

2016, 23 June

The Brexit referendum is held, and 51.9% vote in favour of leaving the EU. Although the referendum was non-binding, the government promises to implement the result. Right after the result, Cameron announces he will resign as prime minister and Conservative Party leader.

2016, 13 July

Two days after becoming Conservative Party leader, Theresa May is appointed Prime Minister.

2017, 29 March

The UK serves its notice of withdrawal, triggering Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The scheduled date for Brexit is 29 March 2019. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says Britain’s decision to leave is “a choice they will regret one day”.

2017, 8 June

A general election is held, with May having called it two months prior, saying it was the “only way to guarantee certainty and security for years ahead”. The Conservatives win, but lose their majority in the House of Commons, necessitating the formation of a minority government with a confidence-and-supply agreement with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

2017, June

Then British Brexit Secretary David Davis begins the negotiation process with the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier.

2018, June

Parliament approves the Withdrawal Act, which makes existing EU law UK law, and says the EU can’t make future laws for Britain.

2018, July

Davis resigns, saying he felt the UK was “giving away too much and too easily” to the EU in the negotiations. Dominic Raab replaces him as Brexit Secretary.

2018, October

European Council President Donald Tusk says a UK-EU trade agreement should be reached by the mid-October EU summit.

2018, November

After more than a year of often troublesome discussions – the biggest sticking point of which was the issue of the Irish border and the associated backstop, meant to ensure the border remains open after Brexit – a draft withdrawal deal is concluded and approved by May’s cabinet. This leads to a slew of resignations in the Prime Minister’s cabinet, including Raab’s, who says he cannot support the agreement. Stephen Barclay replaces him. Later in the month, EU ministers endorse the agreement, which now has to be approved in the UK parliament.

2018, 10 December

May calls off a scheduled vote on the deal, saying it “would be rejected by a significant margin” if voted on at that point in time. She said she would be renegotiating the deal with the EU. A few days later, however, the member states’ heads of government confirmed that there could be no further negotiations on the terms of withdrawal. As the chance of a “no deal” scenario started increasing, later in December, the EU Commission announced a Contingency Action Plan.

2019, 19 January

MPs in the Commons shot down the deal brought forward by May’s government with 432 votes against and 202 votes in favour. Later, Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a motion of no confidence in the government, which was won by the government with a margin of 325 to 306.

2019, February

May holds more talks in Brussels. Later in the month, the Commons votes overwhelmingly to make mandatory a timetable which would start on 12 March and would give MPs the right to approve or reject the government’s draft agreement, or to accept or reject a “no deal” Brexit, or to extend or not the Article 50 deadline of 29 March 2019.

2019, 11 March

May announced she has achieved “legally-binding” changes to the withdrawal deal when it comes to preventing the proposed Irish backstop from being put in place indefinitely. Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar backs the deal.

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