The United Kingdom's prospective withdrawal from the European Union is widely known as Brexit, a portmanteau of "Britain" and "exit".
Following a referendum held on 23 June 2016, in which 51.9% of votes cast were in favour of leaving the EU, the UK government has stated its intention to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (the formal procedure for withdrawing) on 29 March 2017. This, within the treaty terms, would put the UK on a course to leave the EU on, before or potentially after 29 March 2019.
Prime Minister Theresa May, elected by the ruling Conservative Party in the wake of the referendum, has promised a bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and to incorporate existing EU laws into UK domestic law. In January 2017, she announced a 12-point plan of negotiating objectives and confirmed that the UK government would not seek continued membership in the single market.
The UK joined the European Communities (EC), a predecessor of the EU, in 1973, and confirmed its membership in a 1975 referendum by 67% of the votes. Historical opinion polls 1973–2015 tended to reveal majorities in favour of remaining in the EEC, EC or EU. In the 1970s and 1980s, withdrawal from the EEC was advocated mainly by some Labour Party and trade union figures.
Article 50 will be implemented on the 29th March 2017, officially beginning the process for the UK to leave the EU. What does it mean to be British in a post Brexit Britain?