Brexit 2018: Key dates to look out for and challenges for Theresa May | Politics | News

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Huge swathes of 2017 was spent in dramatic stand-offs with EU chiefs and the 27 remaining member states.

Tough talking officials including Michel Barnier and Jean-Claude Juncker continued to insist not enough progress had been made for talks to progress.

But by the end of the year, Theresa May – with the help of David Davis – had managed to secure an agreement after all-night talks.

Now as 2018 draws in tonight, Express.co.uk looks at what the next year could hold for Brexit.

Parliament still have a long way to go with the EU Withdrawal Bill in January as it heads for its Report and Third Reading Stages on January 16 and 17. 

The debate will give the government a chance to revisit issues already discussed, meaning Mrs May could take a second look at the Dominic Grieve amendment – her only defeat so far.

The bill heads to the Lords for a second reading at the end of the month before moving on to the Committee Stage in February, when peers will make attempts to amend the bill until Easter.

The Report Stage, when amendments can be put forward, would then take place in the second half of April. 

A third Reading will follow in mid-May as the Commons and Lords take part in a Parliamentary game of ping-pong to settle on a final wording.

Also at the end of January, formal negotiations are due to begin on a transition period after Brexit.

In February, it is expected Mrs May will give another big speech on Brexit – echoing her Florence Speech of September 2017.

The prime minister may outline her plans for the “end state” of Brexit Britain ahead of talks in April, when the UK can begin to discuss a future relationship with the Brussels bloc in terms of trade and security.

On May 3, Britain will go to the polls in what may feel like the umpteenth time in the past two years.

The electorate will have their chance to cast their ballots in local elections up and down the country, with all seats in the 32 London borough councils up for election plus 34 metropolitan boroughs and 74 district or borough councils.

Many will see their vote as an opportunity to reflect their views of the current UK government – with some fearing another snap general election could be on the cards for 2018.

Brexit negotiators will continue to meet with their EU counterparts throughout the year to try to determine the future relationship between London and Brussels after Brexit.

Mr Barnier has said he wants the terms of Britain’s EU exit agreed by Autumn 2018, having previously indicated he would like to have an exit deal agreed within 18 months of Article 50 being triggered, or by October 2018.

It is hoped all this will be concluded by next Christmas, by which point Britain is expected to be in the final stages of its withdrawal from the EU and ready to formally leave the bloc on March 29, 2019.

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