Brexit: the next steps for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU

The Commons Library and Lords Library has produced impartial analysis of the UK’s referendum for remaining in or leaving the European Union. The page sets out useful research on the impact of Brexit on key policy areas. It also explains the process for leaving the EU.

Parliament's role in ratifying treaties
The UK Government must lay most treaties before Parliament for 21 sitting days before it can ratify them

Treaty negotiations: when has the Government published it position?
Examples of information the Government gave to Parliament in advance of treaty negotiations

Brexit and those currently exercising free movement rights
Looks at the status of EU citizens currently resident in the UK and British citizens in the EU

Animal welfare standards in farming after Brexit
Information prepared for Westminster Hall debate on 24 January


Brexit and Parliament: deal or no deal?
Blog article discussing Prime Minister, Theresa May's, speech about Brexit at Lancaster House

European Union in 2017: key dates
Lists election dates in member states, European Council meetings, membership of the European Council

Brexit: how does the Article 50 process work?
Negotiation could last 2 years or more, or the UK could leave without settling its exit terms or its future relationship with the EU

Human rights implications of Brexit
Joint Committee on Human Rights report says the Government must not use fundamental rights as a bargaining chip

Lords Informal Brexit Liaison Group meeting
The first meeting of the Informal Brexit Liaison Group, set up by the House of Lords Liaison Committee, was held on 21 November.

Lords debate on Brexit - what role should Parliament play?
The House of Lords debated, on 22 November, two recent reports on Parliament’s role in scrutinising Brexit and the triggering of Article 50.

Brexit: some legal, constitutional and financial unknowns
This Commons Library briefing looks at some of the basic ‘unknowns’ relating to Brexit. The unknowns cover areas such as a role for the UK Parliament and the devolved legislatures in the Brexit process, relations with the EU institutions, the economic impact on the UK, and changes to citizens’ rights.
(Published: 10 November)

  • Commons Library blog article: Brexit, Parliament and the prerogative

    • What did the Court decide?
    • What does this mean for Parliament?
    • How might an appeal work?
    • What if the Supreme Court dismisses the Government’s appeal?
    • What reasons did the Court give for its decision?
    • Why is the European Communities Act special?
    • What’s domestic law got to do with it?
    • When can the courts interfere with the exercise of prerogative powers?

(Published: 3 November)

Business and trade

Effect of the UK leaving the EU on the rural economy
This pack has been produced ahead of the debate to be held in the Commons Chamber on 17 January

Leaving the European Union: Impact on the Creative Industries
This Lords Library briefing provides information on the potential impact of leaving the European Union on the creative industries

Statistics on UK-EU trade
Provides some basic statistics on the UK's trade with the EU

Export of live animals within the EU
Current legislative framework and campaigns to change the law

CETA: the EU-Canada free trade agreement
Details about CETA, the Comprehensive Trade and Economic Partnership, free trade agreement between the EU and Canada

The effect of leaving the EU on businesses in Wales
Debate pack for the Westminster Hall debate on the effect leaving the EU on business in Wales

Change, or go - report by Business for Britain (PDF)
Report from pro-leave group on "How Britain would gain influence and prosper outside an unreformed EU"

UK Sea Fisheries Statistics
This Commons Library briefing examines trends in the UK sea fishing industry, including landings, employment, fleet size, trade, and comparisons with other EU countries.
(Published: 30 November)

List of EU trade agreements (PDF)
This Commons Library briefing provides a list of EU trade agreements in force.
(Published: 21 November)

Leaving the European Union: The UK and Ireland
This Lords Library briefing examines the current peace and security, and trade situation, and discusses the potential implications of the UK leaving the EU, drawing upon commentary from UK and Irish heads of governments, political parties, think tanks and organisations.

Brexit: employment law
This Library briefing paper discusses the interaction between UK and EU employment law; the potential consequences of Brexit; and the Government's position on the issue.

Debate on "Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market' report from the European Union Committee (Debated: 9 November)

Debate on Exiting the EU and workers' rights - 7 November

Brexit: future UK and EU trade in services
The Lords EU Internal Market Sub-Committee hears from creative and retail industry bodies as part of their inquiry on Brexit: future UK and EU trade in services.

Leaving the European Union: Global Free Trade
This Lords Library briefing provides information further to the debate on the UK’s departure from the EU and the opportunities for the UK to be an outward looking champion of global free trade.

Debate pack on the effect of Brexit on agriculture and fisheries in SW England
This pack has been prepared ahead of the debate to be held in Westminster Hall at 4.30pm on 19 October on the effect of the UK leaving the EU on agriculture and fishing in the South West. The debate will be led by Scott Mann

Potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on UK tourism
This Commons debate pack was prepared ahead of the Westminster Hall debate held on 12 October. The debate focused on the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on UK tourism and was initiated by Nigel Huddleston MP

Trade aspects
This Commons Library briefing paper looks at possible options for the UK's trading relationship with the EU, post-Brexit.

Inquiry into creative industries, tourism and the digital single market
Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry invites written evidence on the following issues:

  • Employment in the creative industries
  • Employment in tourism
  • The Digital Single Market

Inquiry into EU Insurance Regulation
Commons Treasury Committee inquiry into the new regime for the regulation of insurance, implemented in January 2016

Inquiry into the UK's future economic relationship with the EU
Commons Treasury Committee inquiry  is taking further evidence on the trade-offs between market access and the practical consequences for people and businesses

What next for UK fisheries?
This Commons Library briefing looks at the implications of Brexit for fisheries. The implications will depend on future negotiations with the EU and future UK Government policy.

Defence and security

Exiting the EU and security, law enforcement and criminal justice
Debate pack produced ahead of the debate scheduled for 18 January

Brexit reading list on policing and criminal justice
Collates commentary on the implications for policing and criminal justice cooperation and national security

UK Armed Forces and Diplomatic Service
This Lords Library briefing for the debate on 8 December on the impact on the UK's armed forces and diplomatic service

Leaving the European Union: The UK and Ireland
This Lords Library briefing examines the current peace and security, and trade situation, and discusses the potential implications of the UK leaving the EU, drawing upon commentary from UK and Irish heads of governments, political parties, think tanks and organisations.

Brexit: future EU-UK security and police co-operation inquiry
The Lords Committee will look specifically at the current forms of co-operation that the UK may wish to maintain post-Brexit and the practicalities of doing so, with a view to making recommendations to the Government.

Defence and security after Brexit: a reading list
The Commons Library has compiled a selection of analysis and comment on defence and security related matters, relevant to the UK's forthcoming withdrawal from the European Union.

Leaving the European Union: Foreign and Security Policy Cooperation
On 20 October 2016, the House of Lords debated the implications of the EU referendum for foreign and security policy cooperation with European countries. Theresa May and members of her Cabinet have stated that they intend for the UK to continue to cooperate closely with EU partners on areas such as security, defence, law enforcement and counter-terrorism after leaving the EU, although it is not yet clear exactly what form such cooperation may take.

Economy and finance

UK Funding from the EU
Looks at funding received by UK from the EU and the impact for regional development, agriculture support, research and innovation

Debate on "Whatever it takes’: the Five Presidents’ report on completing Economic and Monetary Union from the European Union Committee
(Debated: 9 November)

Debate on Effect of the UK leaving the European Union on financial and other professional services
(Debated: 3 November)

Briefing on Brexit and financial services
This Commons Library briefing paper brings together responses from financial organisations about the impact of the vote to leave the EU. The vote to leave the EU has significant implications for the financial services sector, an economic sector which is critical to the UK economy. The degree of inter-linkage between the ‘City’ and the EU economies is substantial economically speaking and intricate in terms of the legislative interface.

EU budget and the UK's contribution
This Commons Library briefing considers the EU's spending and how it is financed. It includes the UK's contributions and receipts to and from the EU budget and discusses the UK's rebate.

Inquiry into Brexit and financial services
The Lords EU Financial Affairs Sub-Committee holds an evidence sessions on the impact of Brexit on the financial services sector

Implications for the housing market and construction industry
This Commons Library briefing paper summarises very early indications of the impact of the vote on the UK housing market and house building industry. The topics covered include: construction industry confidence; the housing market; potential policy responses.

UK tax after the EU referendum
This Commons Library briefing discusses the possible implications of the UK leaving the EU for the UK tax system

Education

Impact of exiting the EU on higher education
Overview of the issues to the HE sector as a result of the decision to leave the EU and outlines parliamentary debate in this area

Debate pack on Effect of exiting the EU on higher education
Commons Library briefing provides background information to the Westminster Hall debate on 23 November
(Published: 21 November)

Debate on the potential impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on funding for universities and scientific research
(Debated: 3 November)

Inquiry on the impact of exiting the EU on higher education
Education Committee inquiry invites written submissions on the following:

  • On EU students studying in England
  • Places for existing EU students and staff
  • The future of the Erasmus+ programme
  • Risks and opportunities for UK students
  • How changes to freedom of movement may affect higher education institutions
  • How to ensure UK universities remain competitive
  • What the Government's education priorities should be during negotiations
  • How to mitigate any possible risks and take advantage of any opportunities

Health and social care

Debate on the Implications for the health and social care workforce of the result of the EU referendum
(Debated: 24 November)

Inquiry into Brexit and health and social care
Health Committee inquiry into the priorities for health and social care in the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

NHS and Social Care Workforce: Implications of Leaving the EU
This Lords Library briefing has been prepared ahead of the debate on the implications of the EU referendum result on the NHS and social care workforce, particularly with regard to ‘safe’ staffing levels.

Immigration and border controls

Land border with Republic of Ireland examined with Academics
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee considered the range of issues posed by the land border that the UK Government will need to take into account in the Brexit negotiations.

Brussels IIa regulation – cross-border child contact cases, and child abduction
Commons Library briefing on the effect of Brexit on the UK in terms of the Brussels IIa regulation concerning cross-border child contact cases, and international child abduction within the EU.
(Published: 11 November)

Brexit: acquired rights inquiry
The EU Justice Sub-Committee takes evidence about the consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on the rights currently enjoyed by all EU citizens, workers and companies by virtue of EU Membership.

Lords debate on unaccompanied migrant children (1 November)
Report from the European Union Committee Children in crisis: unaccompanied migrant children in the EU (2nd Report, HL Paper 34)

Lords debate on right of EU nationals (19 October)
Opposition Day debate by the Scottish National Party on (i) Right of EU nationals (ii) House of Lords reform and the size of the House of Commons

How might people currently exercising free movement rights be affected?
This Commons Library briefing outlines how people, who are currently exercising free movement rights, might be affected by the UK’s Brexit decision.

Parliament, Government, legislation

Legislating for Brexit: Statutory Instruments implementing EU law
Looks at how the majority of EU directives are implemented in the UK and lists EU-related UK Statutory Instruments (Please note: the appendix to this paper is over 200 pages long)

Legislating for Brexit: directly applicable EU law
Explains what ‘directly applicable’ EU law is, how it applies in the UK, and estimates how many EU regulations are in force (Please note: the appendix to this paper is over 300 pages long)

EU external agreements
How Brexit might affect EU external agreements with sections 2 and 3 listing bilateral and multilateral agreements

Brexit and data protection
Discusses the current reform of EU data protection law, the interaction with UK law, and the potential consequences of Brexit

Brexit: devolved legislature business
This Commons Library briefing is a record of Brexit-related business in the devolved legislatures. It is updated every Monday

Leaving the European Union: Future UK-EU Relationship
Lords Library briefing published for the a debate on 1 December 2016 on the best options for the UK’s future relationship with the EU following the referendum vote.
(Published: 25 November)

Legislating for Brexit: the Great Repeal Bill
The Commons Library has estimated that 13.2% of UK primary and secondary legislation enacted between 1993 and 2004 was EU related. This briefing addresses each of the potential elements of the Great Repeal Bill:

  • The repeal of the ECA (Section 2)
  • The transposition of EU law (Section 3)
  • The proposed use of delegated powers (Section 5)

(Published: 21 November)

Miller and the Great Repeal Bill blog article
How will the Great Repeal Bill change the law in the UK? This question looms large in the legal arguments before the Supreme Court in Miller

Brexit and the EU Court
Commons Library briefing on the High Court ruling that the UK Government does not have prerogative power to give notice under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union for the UK to withdraw from the EU.
(Published: 14 November)

Brexit reading list: legal and constitutional issues
This Commons Library briefing provides information on and/or links to a selection of analysis and comment on: the referendum and triggering of Article 50; the possibility of a second referendum on a withdrawal agreement; the impact of Brexit on the rest of the EU; the UK’s future relations with the EU; issues for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
(Updated: 11 November)

Brexit: impact across policy areas
This Commons Library briefing looks at a range of policy areas and what impact Brexit might have. This will depend on Brexit negotiations, whether the UK stays in the EEA and how the Government fills the gaps left by withdrawal.

Brexit and local government
This Commons Library briefing looks at possible impact of exiting the EU on local authorities, with regard to devolution deals; EU structural funds; compliance with EU law; and medium-term financial implications.

Report on Equipping the Government for Brexit
Foreign Affairs Committee report recommending that the Government commits to a substantial increase in the funding available to the FCO commensurate with the enormity of the task it now faces.

Implications of the referendum on EU membership for the UK's role in the world
Foreign Affairs Committee report which highlights the major issues voters may wish to consider when reaching their own conclusions on how “Brexit” might affect the UK’s role in the world

Pensions

Implications for pensions
This Commons Library briefing paper brings together initial responses from relevant organisations on private and states pensions.
(Published: 10 August)

Science and environment

Support for science
The EU is a major source of funding for research, notably through the Horizon 2020 programme

Exiting the EU and science and research - debate pack
Commons Library debate pack for the general debate on Exiting the EU and science and research on Monday 19 December 2016

Lords committee discusses Climate Change
EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee questions the CEO of the Committee on Climate Change on 23 November about UK environment and climate change policy

Climate change policy and trans-boundary environmental issues post-Brexit
The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee explores climate change and trans-boundary environmental issues as part of its continuing inquiry into environment and climate change policy following the vote to leave the European Union.

Leaving the EU: Environment and Climate Change
This Lords Library briefing provides an overview of a selection of European legislation which relates to the environment and climate change, and outlines how it has been implemented in the UK.

Inquiry into implications and opportunities for science and research
Science and Technology Committee inquiry seeking contributions on the risks and opportunities of leaving the EU, to allow the Committee produce a ‘Risk Assessment’ which should feature in the Government’s negotiating strategy

Inquiry into the future of the natural environment
Environmental Audit Committee inquiry will look at:

  • Future of funding for biodiversity and agri-environment schemes
  • Changes in the devolved administration
  • Role that managed re-wilding can play in conservation and restoration

Transport and infrastructure

Effect of the UK leaving the EU on infrastructure in Wales
This pack was prepared ahead of the debate to be held in Westminster Hall on 17 January

Brexit reading list: economic, business and transport policy issues
This paper provides information on and/or links to a selection of analysis, comment and statistics on:

  • Trade negotiations, tariffs and custom duties
  • Domestic economic policy and public expenditure
  • the EU budget, contributions, grants and loans
  • Business and industry, state aid and SMEs
  • Employment, training, pay and the cost of living
  • Regional economic development and transport
  • Issues for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

General debate on exiting the European Union and Transport policy
(Debated: 23 November)

How will it affect transport?
This Commons Library briefing paper discusses some of the issues in the four main transport policy areas:

  • State aid
  • Passenger rights and compensation
  • Airspace change and Single European Sky
  • Cheap flights
  • A new runway in the South East
  • General aviation
  • Rail interoperability/technical standards
  • Rail renationalisation
  • HS2
  • Rail fares
  • Road haulage
  • Driver licensing and testing
  • Vehicle standards
  • Blue Badges
  • Ports

(Updated: 21 November)

Brexit: trade in automotives, aerospace and defence goods examined
The EU External Affairs Sub-Committee holds a double evidence session with leading industry representatives in the automotive sector and aerospace, defence, security and space sectors

European Scrutiny Committee recommends debate on Aviation Security
The Commission has put forward a proposed Regulation to set up a legally-binding certification procedure for types of screening equipment used at airports in the EU.

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    Brexit glossary

    List of commonly-used terms and acronyms, for example:

    • Article 50 TEU
    • Hard Brexit
    • Soft Brexit
    • Smooth Brexit
    • Red, white and blue Brexit
    • Great Repeal Bill

    Author information

    Authors of the research briefings are available to discuss them with Members and their staff. The research briefings are published to the UK Parliament website.

    Both Houses establish select committees to conduct inquiries and to produce reports on a range of matters, from the conduct of Government to specialist subject areas. Information on their work can be found on the website.