Withdrawal Agreement Approved
The transitional period from 1 February expires at the end of December 2020. Any agreement on future relations between the EU and the UK must be concluded in full before that date, when it is due to come into force on 1 January 2021. The European Parliament approved the withdrawal agreement. The agreement was revised as part of the Johnson Department renegotiation in 2019. The amendments fit about 5% of the text.  The agreement defines goods, services and related processes. Any provision of goods or services legally put on the market before leaving the EU may be made available to consumers in the UK or in the EU Member States (Article 40-41). This triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union, which defines the procedure for the withdrawal of an EU member state, thus opening a two-year countdown to withdrawal. On 15 January 2019, the House of Commons voted with 230 votes against the Brexit withdrawal agreement the largest vote against the British government in history.  The government may survived a vote of confidence the next day.  On March 12, 2019, the House of Commons voted 149 votes against the agreement, the fourth-biggest defeat of the government in the history of the House of Commons.  A third vote on the Brexit withdrawal agreement, widely expected on 19 March 2019, was rejected by the House of Commons spokesman on 18 March 2019, on the basis of a parliamentary convention of 2 April 1604, which prevented British governments from forcing the House of Commons to vote several times on a subject already voted on by the House of Commons.    An abbreviated version of the withdrawal agreement, in which the annex political statement had been withdrawn, consisted of the test of “substantial amendments,” so that a third vote was held on 29 March 2019, but was rejected by 58 votes.
 The British Parliament approved the draft agreement by adopting 2020 implementing laws (The European Union Withdrawal Agreement (Withdrawal Agreement) 2020 Act. Following the signing of the agreement, the UK Government adopted and tabled the UK`s ratification instrument on 29 January 2020.  The agreement was ratified by the Council of the European Union on 30 January 2020, after approval by the European Parliament on 29 January 2020. The UK`s withdrawal from the EU came into force on 31 January 2020 at 11 .m GMT, when the withdrawal agreement came into force in accordance with Article 185. The Northern Ireland Protocol, known as the Irish Backstop, was an annex to the November 2018 draft agreement outlining provisions to avoid a hard border in Ireland after the UK`s withdrawal from the European Union. The protocol provided for a provision of the safety net to deal with the circumstances in which satisfactory alternative arrangements were to come into force at the end of the transition period.