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*On the 23rd June, 2016 a referendum was held in the UK to ascertain whether or not they wished to remain in the European Union. 

The UK voted to leave 52% to 48%.

On the 29th March, 2017, the UK Prime Minister, Mrs. Theresa May, triggered Article 50 which marked the start of two years of negotiations prior to Britain's exit which should be before 29th March, 2019.

31st January, 2020 - UK finally leave the European Union although there will be a transition period to enable trade deals and finer details to be worked out.  This should be done by the end of 2020 but time will tell!


On the 1st January, 2007 Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union increasing the number of member states to 27 and then on the 1st July, 2013 Croatia was added to the list making 28 countries in total.

The original 15 countries were:-

Austria  -  Belgium  -  Denmark  -  Finland  -  France  -  Germany  -  Greece   Ireland -  Italy  -  Luxembourg  -  Netherlands  -  Portugal  - Spain  -  Sweden - United Kingdom*


Joined by 10 others on the 1st May, 2004.

Cyprus  -  Czech Republic  -  Estonia  -  Hungary  -  Latvia - Lithuania  Malta - Poland  -  Slovakia  -  Slovenia.

2 additions on 1st January, 2007.

Bulgaria and Romania

Latest addition on 1st July, 2013



31st January, 2020 - UK leave the European Union although there will be a transition period to work out trade deals etc. This should be done by the end of 2020 but time will tell!

There are now 27 countries currently in the union.

Thirteen of these countries currently use the Euro as their currency:-

Belgium France Netherlands
Germany Ireland Austria
Greece Italy Portugal
Spain Luxembourg Finland

 Joined 1st January, 2007

Cyprus Joined 1st January, 2008
Malta Joined 1st January, 2008
Slovakia Joined 1st January, 2009

The conversion rates for the first countries to sign up, were established on 1st January, 1999.  These rates are fixed as follows:-


Currency Conversion rate Code
Austrian schilling 13.7603 ATS
Belgian franc 40.3399 BEF
Deutsche mark 1.95583 DEM
Spanish peseta 166.386 ESP
Dutch guilder 2.20371 NLG
Finnish markka 5.94573 FIM
French franc 6.55957 FRF
Irish punt 0.787564 IEP
Italian lira 1936.27 ITL
Luxembourg franc 40.3399 LUF
Portuguese escudo 200.482 PTE
Greek drachma 340.750 GRD
Slovenia 1.1.07. 239.640 SIT
Malta  1.1.08. 0.429300 MTL
Cyprus  1.1.08. 0.585274 CYP
Slovakia  1.1.09 30.1260 SKK



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