Brexit – the story for employers so far

The UK electorate voted to leave the European Union in a referendum on 23 June 2016. The legal process for exiting the EU began when the UK notified of its intention to withdraw under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on 29 March 2017. The UK and the EU had two years to decide on the terms of the withdrawal, particularly the extent of the UK’s access to the single market versus the degree to which EU workers retain freedom of movement to the UK.

On 21 March 2019, eight days before the scheduled departure date, the EU offered to delay Brexit until 22 May if MPs approve the deal that has been negotiated. If they could not, a no-deal Brexit would happen on 12 April.

On 11 April, the EU allowed a “flexible extension” to 31 October 2019. Boris Johnson, who took over as prime minister in July, had vowed to leave the EU by that date “do or die”, having negotiated a new deal with the EU. However on 28 October 2019, the EU agreed to extend Brexit again, this time to 31 January 2020.

Our Brexit pages provide news and guidance on all aspects of the UK’s exit from the EU.


If there is a vote to leave, what happens to upcoming EU legal decisions?

23 May 2016

In the latest in our series of articles on the impact of a potential Brexit for employers, Felicity Gemson and...

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Brexit: Would the Government’s grip on trade unions get tighter?

20 May 2016

Will an exit from the EU empower the Government to reduce the rights of trade unions and the right to...

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What would happen to TUPE if the UK left Europe?

3 May 2016

As part of our series of articles looking at the impact of a potential Brexit on employers and their legal...

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EU referendum: how to get ready for a potential Brexit

29 Apr 2016

As the debate hots up over the UK referendum on leaving or staying in the EU, what steps should UK...

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EU referendum: 12 European cases that have shaped UK employment law

31 Mar 2016

The “Brexit” referendum on whether or not the UK should withdraw from the European Union takes place on 23 June...

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Would a British exit from the EU cut employment red tape?

1 Jul 2015

The Conservative victory in the general election means that there will be a referendum on a British exit from the...

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Queen’s Speech: consultation on Bill of Rights and “a job for everyone”

27 May 2015

Today’s Queen’s Speech from the first majority Conservative government since John Major was in power proposed a number of new...

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What would withdrawal from the EU mean for UK employers?

13 Dec 2013

On the back of plans to examine the balance of competences between the UK and the EU, Chris Fisher and Purvis Ghani of Mayer Brown look into the pros and cons of EU membership for employers.

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How leaving the EU would affect UK employment law

8 Apr 2013

The likelihood of a referendum on whether the UK says “au revoir” to the EU has risen since the Prime...

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Cameron’s speech on the UK-EU relationship: five key employment laws influenced by Europe

23 Jan 2013

David Cameron’s speech this morning on the future of the UK’s relationship with the European Union (EU) has made the...

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