Enda Kenny TD served as Taoiseach from 9 March 2011 to 14 June 2017. He represented Ireland at the European Council during this time, including at the European Council in April 2017 when draft guidelines for the first phase of the Brexit negotiations were agreed by EU27 leaders. On 24 June 2016, after the UK’s vote to leave the EU, Mr Kenny made a speech setting out the Irish government’s plans to deal with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Lord Kerr of Kinlochard (John Olav Kerr) is a former diplomat who served as the UK’s Permanent Representative to the European Union from 1990 to 1995. Lord Kerr is known for his part in drafting the text of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union in 2003. Since the UK voted to leave the EU, Lord Kerr has expressed regret that the UK has used the withdrawal mechanism he helped to create, saying he had never expected it to.
- 23 June 2016: Polling day for the UK referendum on EU membership.
- 29 March 2017: Article 50 triggered by UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
- 19 June 2017: Article 50 negotiations between EU and UK officially start in Brussels.
- 19-20 October 2017: European Council Summit at which a decision was made that there was not yet ‘sufficient progress’ on the issues of citizens’ rights, the financial settlement and Ireland in the first phase of negotiations.
- 8 December 2017: Publication of Joint Report from the EU and UK negotiators on progress made during phase one of the negotiations, setting out joint commitments which had been made to facilitate the UK’s ‘orderly withdrawal’ from the EU.
- 14-15 December 2017: European Council Summit at which the EU27 agreed that ‘sufficient progress’ had been made in the first phase of the negotiations on the basis of the European Commission’s recommendation as EU negotiator and the Joint Report from the EU and UK negotiators.
- 29 January 2018: European Commission receives mandate from the Council of the EU to allow negotiations to begin on possible transitional arrangements following the UK’s ‘orderly withdrawal’ from the EU.
- 28 February 2018: Publication by the European Commission of the draft Withdrawal Agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU and European Atomic Energy Community, which includes a Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland.
- 19 March 2018: UK Prime Minister Theresa May writes letter to European Council President Donald Tusk ahead of the March European Council Summit in which she states that she is “committed to agreeing in the Withdrawal Agreement…the so-called ‘backstop option’.”
- 22-23 March 2018: European Council Summit where the EU27 leaders agreed guidelines for the negotiations on the framework of the future relationship between the EU and UK.
- 26 June: EU Withdrawal Bill receives Royal Assent and becomes an Act of Parliament meaning it is now UK law.
- 28-29 June 2018: European Council Summit where the EU27 leaders stressed concern regarding the lack of substantial progress on agreeing a Backstop for Northern Ireland. They also called for “further clarity as well as realistic and workable proposals from the UK as regards its position on the future relationship[with the EU]”.
- 6 July 2018: UK Cabinet met in Chequers and released a statement on its vision for the future relationship between the UK and the EU. A series of resignations, including those of Boris Johnson MP and David Davis MP, follow the Chequers agreement.
- 12 July 2018: The UK government published a White Paper on the Future Relationship between the UK and the EU.
- 18 October 2018: European Council Summit. October is the month by which EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier has stated that Article 50 negotiations should be concluded.
- 29 March 2019: The deadline set for the UK’s departure from the EU, two years after Article 50 was triggered.