Backgrounder: Chronicled major events related to Brexit

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LONDON, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Britain is no longer a member of the European Union (EU) after 23:00 GMT on Jan. 31, 2020.

Brexit -- Withdrawal of Britain from the EU was originally meant to happen on March 29, 2019, but the deadline was delayed three times.

The following are the chronicled major events related to Brexit:

Jan. 29, 2020 -- The European Parliament gave its consent to the Council of the EU to conclude the withdrawal agreement by 621 votes to 49. This was the final time that members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from the United Kingdom (UK) sat in the European Parliament.

Jan. 23, 2020 -- The Withdrawal Agreement Bill received royal assent from Queen Elizabeth II.

Jan. 22, 2020 -- The Withdrawal Agreement Bill proposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson was passed by the British parliament.

Dec. 12, 2019 -- A general election was held in which the Conservative Party gained an 80-seat majority in parliament.

Oct. 28, 2019 -- The European Council agreed to extend the Brexit deadline to Jan. 31, 2020, which was the third extension.

Oct. 19, 2019 -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent letters to then President of the European Council Donald Tusk, asking for an extension of the Brexit deadline to Jan. 31, 2020.

Oct. 17, 2019 -- The UK and the European Commission agreed on a revised withdrawal agreement containing a new protocol on Northern Ireland. The European Council endorsed the deal.

Oct. 2, 2019 -- The British government published a white paper outlining a new plan to replace the Irish backstop, involving regulatory alignment across the island of Ireland but retaining a customs border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

July 24, 2019 -- Johnson accepted the Queen's invitation to form a government and became prime minister of the UK, the third since the Brexit referendum.

May 24, 2019 -- Theresa May announced that she would resign as leader of the Conservative Party, effective on June 7. Her resignation came against the backdrop of her failure to win parliamentary support for her Brexit plan.

April 10, 2019 -- The European Council granted another Brexit deadline extension to Oct. 31, 2019.

March 21, 2019 -- The European Council offered to extend the Article 50 period to May 22, 2019 if the withdrawal agreement is passed by March 29, 2019, but if it is not, then the UK has to indicate a way forward until April 12, 2019. The extension was formally agreed the following day.

March 20, 2019 -- May requested the EU to extend the Article 50 period to June 30, 2019.

March 14, 2019 -- The British parliament voted 412 to 202 to pass a motion to extend the Article 50 period.

Jan. 15, 2019 -- Parliament members voted 432 to 202 against the deal reached between the British government and the EU after a five-day debate, which was called the worst defeat in almost a century in the British parliament.

Nov. 25, 2018 -- The EU's 27 member states endorsed the withdrawal agreement and Political Declaration on Britain's exit from the EU and the European Atomic Energy Community, as well as on a framework of the future relationship between the EU and Britain.

Britain's 39-billion-pound "divorce bill" has yet to be passed by the British parliament.

Nov. 13, 2018 -- Britain and the EU agreed to the draft deal on Brexit. According to the draft, there will be a 21-month transition period after Brexit, during which Britain will remain in the single European market and the EU Customs Union, and continue to enjoy zero tariffs with EU members. In addition, the two sides are expected to seek to establish a free trade area.

Earlier in the day, the EU published contingency plans for a "no-deal" Brexit.

July 2018 -- May put forward the controversial Chequers plan, or proposals for negotiations with the EU for a "soft" Brexit.

June 26, 2018 -- The Queen signed the EU withdrawal bill, according to which Britain will quit the EU at 2300 GMT of March 29, 2019.

December 2017 -- Britain and the EU reached a deal on several key terms on Brexit.

June 2017 -- Britain's negotiations with the EU officially started, aiming to complete the withdrawal agreement by October 2018.

March 29, 2017 -- The British government invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on quitting the EU.

July 2016 -- The British government created the Department for Exiting the EU.

June 23, 2016 -- Britain held a national referendum on quitting the EU with 52 percent of the vote in favor. Britain joined the EU in January 1973. Enditem

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