The agreement covers issues such as money, civil rights, border regulations and dispute settlement. It also includes a transition period and an overview of the future relationship between the UK and the EU. It was published on 14 November 2018 and was the result of the Brexit negotiations. The agreement was approved by the heads of state and government of the remaining 27 EU countries and the British government of Prime Minister Theresa May, but met with resistance in the British Parliament, whose approval was required for ratification. The consent of the European Parliament would also have been required. On 15 January 2019, the House of Commons rejected the Withdrawal Agreement by 432 votes to 202.  The House of Commons again rejected the agreement on March 12, 2019 by 391 votes to 242 and rejected it a third time on March 29, 2019 by 344 votes to 286. On the 22nd. In October 2019, the revised withdrawal agreement negotiated by Boris Johnson`s government took the first step in Parliament, but Johnson suspended the legislative process when the accelerated approval programme failed to find the necessary support and announced his intention to call a general election.  On 23 January 2020, Parliament ratified the agreement by adopting the Withdrawal Agreement Act; On 29 January 2020, the European Parliament gave its consent to the Withdrawal Agreement. It was then finalised by the Council of the European Union on 30 January 2020. As regards the Irish border issue, a Northern Ireland Protocol (the « backstop ») annexed to the Agreement sets out a fallback position that will only enter into force if effective alternative arrangements cannot be demonstrated before the end of the transition period.
If this happens, the UK will follow the EU`s common external tariff and Northern Ireland will retain some aspects of the single market until such a demonstration 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.  Not surprisingly, the issue of a level playing field resurfaced once Mr Johnson began Brexit negotiations. Hence the wording of the political declaration and a similar emphasis on the trade mandate given by member states to their chief negotiator Michel Barnier. But while Mrs May was at least willing to accept the concept of a level playing field in principle, Mr May. Johnson saw regulatory divergence as one of the main objectives of Brexit and as an important test of whether the EU had accepted that Britain would now be a fully sovereign state. Last February, Barnier`s British counterpart, David Frost, said that refusing to accept EU surveillance on an equal footing was « the whole point of the project ».
The possible withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union poses a serious risk to the regulatory system of the European Union as a whole. He essentially wanted the UK to agree on a legal framework for competition rules that was largely in line with its own, with a strong independent regulator concealing disagreements. Johnson`s predecessor, Theresa May, had sought to address these concerns by suggesting in July 2018 that Britain and the EU should follow a « common regulation » and suggesting that Britain should remain in the customs union for some time. But his proposal was not well received and accelerated Johnson`s resignation as foreign secretary. Conservative Brexiteers` hardliners then repeatedly helped reject Mrs May`s withdrawal agreement, paving the way for Johnson to take over the leadership of the party and become prime minister in July 2019. The most important elements of the draft agreement are the following: Similarly, judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union should not be relevant in the context of a dispute settlement system that does not deal with the interpretation of Union law, but with the impact of a particular policy on open and fair competition between two parties in the context of a free trade agreement. But if I understand correctly, they want to insist on EU standards (or something similar) for business transactions within the UK or between the UK and third countries. This is quite outrageous. If the Americans insisted that the EU had to adapt to US regulations as a condition of a US-EU trade deal, would Brussels obediently agree? I doubt it.. .