Posted on December 21, 2020 in
Written by: David B. Honig
The citizens` rights provisions were agreed by the UK and the EU in the draft withdrawal agreement in March 2018. There are no substantial changes or additions, except in the rights provisions of nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. On 6 September 2020, the Financial Times reported that the UK government was considering drafting new laws to circumvent the protocol of the Northern Ireland Withdrawal Agreement.  The new law would give ministers the power to determine which state aid should be notified to the EU and to define which products at risk of being transferred from Northern Ireland to Ireland (the withdrawal agreement stipulates that in the absence of a reciprocal agreement, all products are considered vulnerable).  The government defended this approach and stated that the legislation was in accordance with protocol and that it had only “clarified” the volumity in the protocol.  Ursula von der Leyen warned Johnson not to violate international law and said that the implementation of the withdrawal agreement by Britain was a “precondition for any future partnership”.  On 8 September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, told the British Parliament that the government`s internal market bill would “violate international law”.”  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 Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, officially titled the UK`s withdrawal agreement from Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community. is a treaty signed on 24 January 2020 between the European Union (EU), Euratom and the United Kingdom (UK)  which sets the conditions for the UK`s withdrawal from the EU and Euratom. The text of the treaty was published on 17 October 2019 and is a renegotiated version of an agreement published six months earlier. The previous version of the withdrawal agreement was rejected three times by the House of Commons, leading Queen Elizabeth II to accept Theresa May`s resignation as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and appoint Boris Johnson as the new Prime Minister on 24 July 2019. If the withdrawal agreement is approved, an EU law (withdrawal agreement) will be introduced to implement the withdrawal agreement in UK law. In addition to the library`s briefing paper, the manual for judicious voting, this document contains an updated report on national constitutional requirements for ratification of the withdrawal agreement. Immediately after the announcement of a revised withdrawal agreement on October 17, 2019, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the DUP said they could not support the new agreement.  After an unprecedented vote on 4 December 2018, MEPs ruled that the British Government was not complying with Parliament because it refused to give Parliament full legal advice on the consequences of its proposed withdrawal terms.  The focus of the consultation was on the legal effect of the “backstop” agreement for Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom with regard to the CUSTOMS border between the EU and the United Kingdom and its impact on the Good Friday agreement that led to the end of the unrest in Northern Ireland, including whether , according to the proposals, the UK would be certain that it would be able to leave the EU in a practical sense.