The Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transitional period until 31 December 2020, during which the United Kingdom will remain in the internal market to ensure smooth trade until a long-term relationship is agreed. In the absence of an agreement on that date, the UK will leave the internal market on 1 January 2021 without a trade agreement. The Withdrawal Agreement is closely linked to a non-binding political declaration on the future relationship between the EU and the UK. With regard to the Irish border issue, there is a protocol on Northern Ireland (the “backstop”) which is annexed to the agreement and defines a return case position that will only enter into force in the absence of evidence of other effective arrangements before the end of the transitional period. If this is the case, the UK will eclipse the EU`s external common law and Northern Ireland will remain in the internal market aspects until such a manifestation is achieved. None of the parties can unilaterally withdraw from this customs union. The aim of this backstop agreement is to avoid a “hard” border in Ireland, where customs controls are necessary.  The Northern Ireland Protocol, known as the “Irish backstop”, was an annex to the November 2018 draft agreement outlining provisions to prevent a hard border in Ireland after the United Kingdom`s withdrawal from the European Union. The Protocol contained a safety net provision to deal with circumstances in which satisfactory alternative arrangements have yet to enter into force at the end of the transitional period. This project has been replaced by a new protocol which will be described as follows. Free trade agreement: this is what the EU and the UK are trying to agree – a deal between countries that encourages trade by removing barriers, such as taxes on goods Earlier on Friday, there were conflicting reports on the state of play of the talks, with some EU officials saying they were on the verge of reaching an agreement, while British officials said: the process is “very difficult”.
The agreement also provides for a transitional period that will last until 31 December 2020 and may be extended by mutual agreement. During the transition period, EU legislation remains applicable to the UK (including participation in the European Economic Area, the internal market and the customs union) and the UK will continue to contribute to the EU budget, but the UK will not be represented in EU decision-making bodies. The transition period will give businesses time to adjust to the new situation and the UK and EU governments to negotiate a new EU-UK trade deal.   On October 22, 2019, the House of Commons agreed, by 329 votes to 299, to grant the revised withdrawal agreement (negotiated by Boris Johnson earlier this month) at second reading, but when the accelerated timetable it proposed did not receive the necessary parliamentary support, Johnson announced that the legislation would be rescinded.   It could allow the government to violate international law by eliminating elements of its original Brexit treaty with the EU, known as the Withdrawal Agreement. . . .