21 Dec What Is The Withdrawal Agreement Backstop
On 15 January 2019, the British Parliament rejected a government request to approve a draft withdrawal agreement. At the end of January 2019, many Pro-Brexit Tory and DUP MPs remained opposed to an unsealed backstop, fearing they would indefinitely link the UK to many EU rules.  In subsequent votes, most conservative rebels voted in favour of the withdrawal agreement and the backstop, although the DUP continued to oppose it, contributing to its prolonged defeat. The opposition was despite an opinion poll by LucidTalk (published on 6 December 2018) which found that 65% of Northern Ireland voters were in favour of a Brexit that saw Northern Ireland as the EU single market and customs union.  On 28 January 2019, May objected to the backstop she and the EU had approved and called on the Conservatives to vote in favour of a Backbench amendment replacing backstop with unspecified “alternative arrangements.”   In October 2019, the new Johnson government renegotiated the project and replaced the backstop. Under the new protocol, the whole of the UK leaves the EU customs union as a single customs territory. Northern Ireland will be included in the UK`s future trade agreements, but will not have tariffs or restrictions on goods crossing the Irish border in both directions, creating a de facto customs border in the Irish Sea with Britain. There is also a unilateral exit mechanism for the Northern Ireland Assembly to leave the protocol by a simple majority.    This new protocol has been described as “Chequers for Northern Ireland” by some, as it is comparable to the British plan for future relations of Theresa May`s Chequers, previously rejected by the EU and criticised by Johnson.  The Irish government and the northern Irish nationalists (favourable to a united Ireland) supported the protocol, while the Unionists (who preferred the United Kingdom) opposed it. In early 2019, the Westminster Parliament voted three times against ratifying the withdrawal agreement, rejecting the backstop. After an unprecedented vote on 4 December 2018, MEPs ruled that the UK government was not respecting 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.