Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Brexit timeline


23 June 2016: The UK held a referendum on its membership of the EU, with the majority of voters choosing to leave (51.9% of the vote versus 48.1% voting to remain).

24 June 2016: Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intention to resign.

13 July 2016: Theresa May became Prime Minister. To fulfil the referendum Article 50 should have been immediately invoked. This would have prevented mischievous efforts to delay Brexit.

29th July 2016:Gina Miller privately engaged the City of London law firm Mishcon de Reya to challenge the authority of the British Government to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union using prerogative powers, arguing that only Parliament can take away rights that Parliament has granted.(Wikipedia)

We will never know whether or not this was a deliberate delay by the Government. Had May triggered article 50 in July 2016, which was the will of the referendum, then by July 2018 we would not be paying any monies to the EU.

2 October 2016: In her Party Conference speech, Theresa May announced a 'Great Repeal Bill' and confirmed that Article 50 would be triggered before the end of March 2017.

3 November 2016: High Court gave its judgment in the Gina Miller case, finding in favour of the claimants. The Government announced it would appeal against the decision.

17 January 2017: Prime Minister gave her Lancaster House speech, setting out the Government's 'Plan for Britain' and the priorities that the UK will use to negotiate Brexit. These definitely changed over time.

24 January 2017: The Supreme Court rejected the Government's appeal of the Gina Miller case.

26 January 2017: The Government published the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.

2 February 2017: The Government published its Brexit White Paper, formally setting out its strategy for the UK to leave the EU.

16 March 2017: The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act received Royal Assent.

29 March 2017: The Prime Minister triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The lapse of time between the referendum and triggering Article 50 was huge and May could be accused of deliberately trying to procrastinate in order to complicate Brexit.

30 March 2017: The Government published the Great Repeal Bill White Paper.

18 April 2017: The Prime Minister unwisely (since the Conservative Party majority was much reduced) called a General Election for 8 June 2017.

Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon gives any EU member state the right to quit unilaterally, and outlines the procedure for doing so. It gives the leaving country two years for negotiations.

In 2016 the UK government paid £13.1 billion to the EU budget.

Early on, the government should have made clear to the EU that we would leave using WTO for trade.

Also, the government should have told the EU that we would not accept without negotiation any terms they proposed.

The populations are EU 512 million UK 66 million.Goods and services to other EU countries were worth £274 billion in 2017, while exports from the rest of the EU to the UK were worth about £341 billion. Thus, 66 million people buy more from the EU than 512 million buy from us.

The government dissipated a strong negotiating position, going cap in hand to the EU instead of taking advantage of our already advantageous position.It has also wasted tax payer's money.

The Prime Minister's delays, Gina Miller's actions, the decision of the Supreme Court and the proposal by many politicians to have a 'people's vote' delay and seem to deny the implementation of the people's democratically determined vote to leave the EU.

Due to these delays, much potential investment has been lost while the EU has made trade deals with Japan and Russia.

People within and outside the UK media could regard the Prime Minister as either a Brexit saboteur or totally incompetent.

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Contact us

Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
Chairman: Barry Legg
The Bruges Group
246 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street
London W1B 5TB
United Kingdom
Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames