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 on 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 consequences on the Good Friday agreement that ended the unrest in Northern Ireland, including whether the United Kingdom would be insured , in line with the proposals, to be able to leave the EU in a practical sense. 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. The withdrawal agreement is complemented by the political declaration setting the framework for future relations between the European Union and the statement of Her Majesty`s Government of the United Kingdom of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the application of the “Democratic Approval in Northern Ireland” provision of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland. The aim of the political declaration is to define “the parameters of an ambitious, broad, thorough and flexible partnership on trade and economic cooperation, with a comprehensive and balanced free trade agreement on the merits.” It sets the tone and provides the framework for detailed and complex negotiations which, after the UK and the EU, aim to reach agreement on a free trade agreement. 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 UK`s official withdrawal from the EU came into force on 31 January 2020 (withdrawal date) at 11pm. On that date, the withdrawal period under Article 50 of the TUE ended and the ratified withdrawal agreement, which sets out the legal conditions for the UK`s withdrawal, came into force. The ratified withdrawal agreement was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on the day of the withdrawal, as well as the political statement on the framework of the future relationship between the UK and the EU: the most important elements of the draft agreement are: On 10 October 2019, the House of Commons agreed, by 329 votes to 299, to give a second reading to the revised withdrawal agreement (negotiated by Boris Johnson earlier this month) , but when the accelerated timetable he had proposed did not receive the necessary parliamentary support, Johnson announced that the legislation would be overturned.  On the issue of the Irish border, there is a northern Ireland protocol (the “backstop”) which is attached to the agreement and establishes a position of withdrawal that will only come into force if effective alternative arrangements are not demonstrated before the end of the transitional 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.