Three Years Since Brexit: What Has Happened?

Please note this blog post was published over 12 months ago and so may not include the most up-to-date information, for example where regulation around investing has changed.

Three Years Since Brexit: What Has Happened?

Three years have now passed since the Brexit referendum, yet here we are on the anniversary of the ‘Vote leave’ victory and there’s still no clear end in sight for the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Here’s a quick guide to the key moments of the last three years. It may feel like we are no further forward than 2016, but there’s certainly been plenty of other changes!

Brexit Timeline

23rd June 2016: The UK voted in a referendum on its membership of the European Union. It is hard to believe now, but the day ended with Nigel Farage conceding that it looked like Remain had won.

24th June 2016: A few hours after dismay amongst brexiteers, it emerged that Leave were victorious. A truly huge moment in British history set us on course to leaving the European Union, with Leave winning 52 to 48 per cent.

As a consequence, within hours of the vote being declared, David Cameron resigned as Prime Minister.

Here we are three years later about to welcome our third PM of the Brexit era.

13th July 2016: Theresa May becomes UK Prime Minister. Despite criticism that a remainer would lead the Brexit charge, there was initially a great deal of popularity for Mrs May in opinion polls. Ultimately, her leadership will be viewed as one of the key factors in Brexit not being delivered on time.

29th March 2017: Article 50 is triggered, formally getting the Brexit process underway. From this date, the UK had two years to agree an exit deal with the EU. Plenty of time? Apparently not.

18th April 2017: Sensing an opportunity to strengthen her hand ahead of Brexit negotiations, Theresa May calls a general election for June 8 2017. At this point, the consensus was that she’d wipe away Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, and walk away with a big Conservative majority.

9th June 2017: The election result is damning for Mrs May, with a hung Parliament declared. The Conservatives had no choice but to agree a confidence and supply agreement with the DUP. Arguably, Theresa May never fully regained her authority. Lack of power in Parliament is ultimately one of the reasons her deal never got through, which is why we are where we are today.

19th June 2017: Formal Brexit negotiations get underway between the UK and EU.

13th December 2017: A significant moment, as the government is forced by the Opposition and rebel Tory MPs to guarantee a vote on the final Brexit deal.

8th July 2018: In a sign of things to come, David Davis resigns as the Brexit Secretary. Dominic Raab is appointed as his replacement.

14th November 2018: The Brexit withdrawal agreement is published. One day later, Dominic Raab resigns as Brexit secretary.

15th January 2019: The first meaningful vote held on the Withdrawal Agreement in the UK House of Commons. The UK Government is defeated by 432 votes to 202.

12th March 2019: The second meaningful vote on the Withdrawal Agreement with the UK Government defeated again by 391 votes to 242.

20th March 2019: Unable to get her deal through, and with the Article 50 window due to close in a matter of days, Theresa May requests an extension to June 30.

29th March 2019: The date of our proposed exit from the European Union comes and goes without action. A third vote on the Withdrawal Agreement takes place after being separated from the Political Declaration. UK Government is defeated again by 344 votes to 286.

5th April 2019: Theresa May requests for a second time that the EU extend the Article 50 period until 30 June 2019

10th April 2019: The European Council grants another extension to the Article 50 period to 31 October 2019, or the first day of the month after that in which the Withdrawal Agreement is passed, whichever comes first.

24th May 2019: The end of May. Inevitably, Theresa May resigns as leader of the Conservatives and Prime Minister. Unable to get her deal through, and with little authority remaining, she had no choice but to cede control.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Boris Johnson or Jeremey Hunt will be the new Prime Minister, following a ballot involving Conservative party members.

Beyond that, Brexit remains up in the air. In theory, if a deal isn’t agreed by October 31st, the UK would be out of the EU without a deal. However, despite this being the default legal position Parliament are unlikely to allow a no deal scenario. With that in mind, some commentators have suggested that the impasse could go on well into 2020. The simple answer is, no one knows what will come next, or how all of this will be resolved.

And while markets may not like volatility, it is good to know that through diversification, the True Potential Portfolios have all grown in this period. Remember, whatever happens with Brexit, long term investing in a diversified Portfolio will help you to navigate short term political events! It is also worth remembering that volatility also represents opportunities, when one part of a diversified portfolio underperforms it could mean that another part is able to capitalise and overperform. The UK is only a small part of a well-diversified portfolio.

As mentioned, the best way to protect against this uncertainty is to diversify your investments and stay invested for the long term. Political uncertainty isn’t a new thing, it is almost a constant in history. Whatever happens with Brexit, keep your eye on your own future, stay invested in a long term diversified Portfolio.

With investing, your capital is at risk. Investments can fluctuate in value and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. Tax rules can change at any time. This blog is not personal financial advice.

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