The withdrawal agreement also contains provisions for the United Kingdom to leave the Convention setting the status of European schools, with the United Kingdom bound by the Convention and accompanying regulations on accredited European schools until the end of the last academic year of the transition period, i.e. at the end of the spring semester 2020-2021.  EU and UK negotiators have reached an agreement on the draft withdrawal agreement allowing the European Council (Article 50) to adopt guidelines for the future EU-UK relationship on 23 March 2018. The agreement also provides for a transitional period, which will last until 31 December 2020 and can be extended by mutual agreement. During the transitional period, EU legislation will continue to apply to the UK (including participation in the European Economic Area, the internal market and the customs union) and the UK will continue to contribute to the EU budget, but the UK will not be represented in EU decision-making bodies. The transition period will give businesses time to adapt to the new situation and the new era, so that the British and European governments can negotiate a new trade agreement between the EU and the UK.   We are looking for the kind of agreement that the EU has already reached with Canada and other friendly countries in recent years. Our proposal builds on previous EU agreements, such as the Comprehensive Economic Agreement, the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement. And it is in line with the political declaration agreed last October, in which both sides set the goal of concluding a free trade agreement “zero tariffs, zero tariffs”.
On the issue of the Irish border, there is a protocol on Northern Ireland (the “backstop”) which is attached to the agreement and establishes a position of withdrawal which will only come into force in the absence of effective alternative provisions before the expiry of the transition period. In this case, the UK will eclipse the EU`s common external tariff and Northern Ireland will stick to aspects of the internal market until such an event is carried out. Neither party can unilaterally withdraw from this customs union. The aim of this backstop agreement is to avoid a “hard” border in Ireland, where customs controls are needed.  The 2019 revisions also adapted elements of the political statement that 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.  The most important elements of the draft agreement are:  On 22 October 2019, the House of Commons agreed, by 329 votes to 299, to give a second reading of the revised withdrawal agreement (negotiated by Boris Johnson earlier this month), but when the accelerated timetable it proposed did not receive the necessary parliamentary support , Johnson announced that the legislation would be on hold.   Details of deliberations in the Public Committee or the House-of-Representatives Committee as a whole, on each phase of the report (reflection phase) and on any review of lords amendments or subsequent messages from Lords.