Both the EU and the UK moved to find the compromise, but in reality it was London that had to make the more radical concessions. The final deal differs in many ways from the “final offer” presented by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Conservative Congress. These concessions could still prove costly to gain the support of the Democratic Unionist Party and Brexiteers within his own party. This regime for Ireland and Northern Ireland is set out in a protocol to the Withdrawal Agreement. It was put in place to protect the 1998 peace settlement (the Good Friday Agreement), which is based on the abolition of the physical border. This situation must be preserved. The new customs border between the European Union and the United Kingdom will therefore pass between Northern Ireland and the continental United Kingdom, not between Ireland and Northern Ireland – the latter is the national (political) border. This applies regardless of the trade agreement that will be concluded. The Northern Ireland Regional Parliament will have the right to review the scheme every four years.
These are the rules that will determine whether Johnson`s deal will suffer the same fate. If the deal is passed, they will shape Britain`s relations with other European countries for a generation. EU and UK negotiators reached an agreement on the draft Withdrawal Agreement that allows the European Council (Article 50) to adopt, on 23 March 2018, guidelines for the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the UK. This briefing deals in detail with the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the EU and the UK and concluded on 14 November 2018. It was endorsed by the heads of state and government of the EU member states at an extraordinary European Council on 25 November and the British Prime Minister promoted it in the British Parliament and throughout the country. The agreement has been the subject of several in-depth debates in Parliament and has been voted on three times. But the House of Commons did not approve it. A second extension of Article 50 lasted the withdrawal date until 31 October 2019, but once again the UK faces the possibility of leaving the EU without a deal if a particular agreement is not ratified by the UK and the EU. Northern Ireland`s border controls and its ability to put in place trade rules are one of the central themes addressed in the recent EU-UK agreement. All of Britain will leave the EU`s customs union. The customs union is an agreement between EU countries, which consists of not collecting taxes on things that come from other EU countries and imposing the same customs duties as others on things that come from outside the EU. The new protocol replaces Ireland`s controversial backstop plan in Theresa May`s deal.
Much of the rest of the agreement will be maintained. Who moved in the conversations? Johnson has withdrawn from his initial position that there should be a first vote before the rules go into effect.