Published on October 16th, 2021 | by Newt Rayburn0
Withdrawal Agreement Bill What Happens Next
Following an unprecedented vote on 4 December 2018, MPs decided that the UK government was flouting Parliament for refusing to give Parliament all the legal advice it had received on the impact of its proposed withdrawal conditions.  The key point of the opinion concerned the legal effect of the “backstop” agreement for Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the UK with regard to the EU-UK customs border and its impact on the Good Friday Agreement, which had led to an end to the unrest in Northern Ireland – and in particular whether the UK would be safe, to be able to leave the EU in a practical sense according to the draft proposals. The protocol also provides for a unilateral withdrawal mechanism for Northern Ireland: the Northern Ireland Assembly will vote every four years on the continuation of these agreements, which require a simple majority. These votes will take place two months before the end of each four-year period, with the first period starting at the end of December 2020 (when the transition period is expected to end).  If the Assembly is suspended at that time, arrangements will be made for Members to vote. If the Assembly expresses its inter-community support in one of these regular votes, the Minutes will apply for the next eight years instead of the usual four years.  However, if the Assembly votes against the continuation of these agreements, the UK and the EU will have two years to agree on new agreements.   MPs overwhelmingly supported the bill in its first phase at the end of December. MPs debated the main areas of the bill at second reading on Monday, January 13.
Participants included the opposition spokesman for leaving the EU and the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords. No. First, the EU and the UK must publish their negotiating objectives. However, after the saber blow of the last few days in the UK, both sides have a pretty good idea of what the other parties` positions look like. Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay said the bill would respond to the “overwhelming mandate” given to his party to lead the UK out of the EU on January 31. MPs discussed the progress of the bill at the end of the Lords phases. The bill includes “divorce payments” to the EU, citizens` rights, customs arrangements for Northern Ireland and the proposed 11-month transition period from 1 February to 31 December. Theresa May – Johnson`s predecessor in Downing Street – repeatedly failed to get her Brexit deal passed by MPs, leading to her resignation as prime minister. The reception of the agreement in the House of Commons was from cold to hostile and the vote was delayed by more than a month. Prime Minister May won a no-confidence motion against her own party, but the EU refused to accept further changes.
But before Parliament closed for the Christmas holidays, MPs approved Mr Johnson`s bill by 358 votes to 234. With regard to the Irish border issue, there is a Northern Ireland Protocol (the “backstop”) annexed to the Agreement which establishes a fallback position which will only enter into force if no effective alternative arrangement is demonstrated before the end of the transition period. .