11 April 2019
On 23 June 2016 the EU referendum (also known as the Brexit referendum) took place and the people of the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU). On 29 March 2016, following the results of the referendum, British government formally notified the president of the European Council.
After eighteen months of intensive negotiations, the UK and the EU reached a Draft Agreement on the Withdrawal of the UK from the EU and the European Atomic Energy Community (Agreement) and the Political Declaration on the future relationship, confirmed at the meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the EU on 25 November 2018.
In accordance with the Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), which regulates the withdrawal process of a Member State from the EU, the UK’s membership in the EU was supposed to end at midnight on 29 March 2019, CET. The UK requested an extension of the two-year withdrawal period envisaged by the Article 50 of the TEU.
Following the UK's request, at the European Council meeting (Article 50) held on 10 April 2019, EU27 leaders offered an extension of the withdrawal period envisaged by the Article 50 of the TEU until 31 October 2019 if the UK Parliament organizes and holds the elections for the European Parliament. If it fails to do so, the UK would leave the EU on 1 June 2019, with or without an agreement. In accordance with the Treaties, the decision on extending the period under Article 50 was taken in agreement with the UK.
For the Republic of Croatia, it is vital to preserve the rights of Croatian citizens in the UK, as well as the UK citizens in Croatia, and provide them with clarity regarding their future status. In case of a no deal-scenario, the UK leaving the EU without the agreement, the Croatian Government is currently undertaking all measures necessary for establishing the conditions of reciprocity in order to minimize the effect of withdrawal on citizens and business activities. The condition of reciprocity means that Croatian citizens in the UK would enjoy the same rights as the UK citizens in Croatia.
There are two possible scenarios of the UK's withdrawal from the EU:
Orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU
Disorderly withdrawal (“no-deal” Brexit)