04 Dic Boris Johnson Withdrawal Agreement Document
The United Kingdom and the European Union reached an agreement at the European Council on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union. The revised withdrawal agreement and the political declaration were discussed and approved at the European Council on 17 October 2019. The agreement defines the goods, services and processes associated with them. 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). The revised Protocol of October 2019 provides for the maintenance of an open border between Northern Ireland and Ireland if the UK and the EU are unable to conclude a new relationship agreement by the end of the transition period. The withdrawal agreement provides for a transitional period until 31 December 2020, during which time the UK will remain in the internal market, to ensure the smooth flow of trade until a long-term relationship is concluded. If no agreement is reached by then, the UK will leave the single market without a trade deal on 1 January 2021. The withdrawal agreement is closely linked to a non-binding political declaration on future relations between the EU and the UK. The 2019 revisions also adapted elements of the political declaration and replaced the word «appropriate» with «appropriate» with respect to labour standards. According to Sam Lowe, a trade fellow at the Centre for European Reform, the amendment excludes labour standards from dispute resolution mechanisms.
 In addition, the Equal Competition Mechanism has been postponed from the legally binding withdrawal agreement to the political declaration, and the line of the political statement that «the United Kingdom will consider taking into account alignment with trade union rules in the relevant areas» has been removed.  While the previous «backstop» kept the UK in a customs union with the EU, the new AV sees that the whole of the UK (including Northern Ireland) is leaving the EU customs union. From a legal point of view, Northern Ireland remains a part of the British customs territory. Northern Ireland will be included in the UK`s free trade agreements. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the centuries-old diplomatic cornerstone that «agreements must be respected» is «the basis for prosperous relations for the future.» Downing Street officials said the PM marks the document with a Parker pen, as it is traditional for ceremonial signatures at No. 10. Johnson said the signing of the document, which took place in Downing Street, would end years of «dispute and division» and would be a positive change for the UK. The same conditions of competition concerned taxation, environmental protection, labour standards, state aid and competition. These have been replaced by less specific and non-binding commitments in the political declaration to impose these principles in any future trade agreement between the EU and the UK.
The agreement covers issues such as money, citizens` rights, border agreements and dispute resolution. 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 other 27 EU countries and by the British government led by Prime Minister Theresa May, but it faced opposition from the British Parliament, which needed approval for ratification. The approval of the European Parliament would also have been necessary. On January 15, 2019, the House of Commons rejected the withdrawal agreement by 432 votes to 202.  The House of Commons again rejected the agreement by 391 votes to 242 on 12 March 2019 and rejected it a third time, on 29 March 2019, by 344 votes to 286.