The UK Government invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on Wednesday 29th March 2017, beginning a two year period in which it will negotiate the terms of exit from the European Union. We provide you with a list of the key personnel in the exit negotiations and a timeline of events since the 2016 Referendum.

Michel Barnier

European Commission Chief Negotiator

Role: He is responsible for leading the Brexit negotiations on behalf of the EU Executive, with a team of around 30 staff to coordinate the EU’s position.

Sir Tim Barrow

Permanent Representative of the UK to the EU

Role: One of the UK’s most senior diplomats, as British Ambassador, he was responsible for communicating the UK’s invocation of Article 50 to the European Council, and will support the UK Government in its exit negotiations.

David Davis MP

Secretary of State for Exiting the EU

Role: His responsibilities are to support and conduct the UK’s negotiations to leave the EU, work closely with the UK devolved administrations and lead and coordinate cross-government work.

Oliver Robbins CB

Permanent Secretary, Department for Exiting the EU

Role: A senior civil servant, he has responsibility for supporting DExEU in the Brexit negotiations and for establishing the future relationship between the UK and EU.

Didier Seeuws

European Council Chief Negotiator

Role: While detailed legal discussions are likely to be conducted by the Commission, he is responsible for leading the taskforce of EU negotiators working for the Council and, therefore, the national leaders of the remaining Member States.

Guy Verhofstadt MEP

European Parliament Chief Negotiator

Role: He is responsible for coordinating the Parliament’s approach to Brexit.


23rd June 2016

Date of UK Referendum on EU Membership

24th January 2017

UK Supreme Court ruling on ‘Miller’ case

29th March 2017

UK Government invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty

8th June 2017

UK General Election

19th June 2017

Date on which Brexit negotiations began

29th March 2019

Time limit by which Brexit negotiations must finish under Article 50