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The term 'Brexit' is a combination of BRitain and EXIT, meaning the exit of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU).

A referendum on the issue was held in the UK on 23 June 2016.

The result of the referendum was to advise the UK government to begin the process of the UK leaving the EU.

Depending on the context, 'Brexit' may refer to any or all of:

  1. The decision for the UK to leave the EU.
  2. The subsequent exit itself, on 31 January 2020.
  3. The consequences, and potential consequences, both of the decision and of the exit itself.
  4. The end of the Brexit transition period, on 31 December 2020.
  5. Less commonly, the referendum result, or the referendum date of 23 June 2016.

On 24 December 2020 the UK and European Commission agreed the terms of a post-Brexit free trade agreement that applied from 1 January 2021.

The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement entered into force on 1 May 2021.

See also