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. In the withdrawal agreement with the EU, Northern Ireland is still in the UK, but it must comply with elements of the EU customs code. 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. This project has been replaced by a new protocol that will be described as follows. 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. Former Prime Minister Sir John Major said: “For generations, Britain`s word – solemnly given – has been accepted by friend and foe.
Our signature on every contract or agreement was untouchable. The reception of the agreement in the House of Commons ranged from cold to hostile, and the vote was delayed by more than a month. Prime Minister May has received a motion of no confidence within her own party, but the EU has refused to accept further changes. It was signed “assuming that further agreements could be reached to clarify these aspects,” the spokesman added. 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 Declaration on Future Relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, also known as the Political Declaration, is a non-binding declaration that was negotiated and signed at the same time as the binding and broader withdrawal agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU), known as Brexit, and at the end of the transition period.