The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement officially entitled „Withdrawal Agreement of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community” is a treaty signed on 24 January 2020 between the European Union (EU), Euratom and the United Kingdom (UK), which sets out the conditions for the United Kingdom`s exit from the EU and Euratom. The text of the treaty was published on 17 October 2019 and is a renegotiated version of an agreement published six months earlier. The previous version of the Withdrawal Agreement was rejected three times by the House of Commons, leading Queen Elizabeth II to accept Theresa May`s resignation as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and appoint Boris Johnson as the new Prime Minister on 24 July 2019. On 22 October 2019, the House of Commons agreed by 329 votes to 299 to grant the revised withdrawal agreement (negotiated by Boris Johnson earlier this month) at second reading, but when the accelerated timetable it proposed did not receive the necessary parliamentary support, Johnson announced that the legislation would be on hold.   „If the UK authorities violate or threaten to breach the Withdrawal Agreement through the UK Single Market Act, in its current form or otherwise, the European Parliament will under no circumstances ratify an EU-UK agreement,” the chairmen of the European Parliament`s political groups and members of its UK coordination group said in a joint statement. The agreement also provides for a transitional period until 31 December 2020 and can be renewed by mutual agreement. During the transition period, EU legislation remains applicable 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 adjust to the new situation and the UK and EU governments to negotiate a new EU-UK trade deal.   This triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which defines the procedure for a Member State`s exit from the Union, and launched a two-year countdown to withdrawal.
The EU and the UK have reached an agreement on the Withdrawal Agreement, with a revised protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland (removal of the backstop) and a revised political declaration. On the same day, the European Council (Article 50) approved these texts. Parliament`s coordination group, chaired by the chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, David McAllister (EPP, DE), will work with the EU Task Force on relations with the UK and consult with the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on International Trade and all other relevant committees. The European Parliament will closely follow the work of EU negotiator Michel Barnier and will continue to influence the negotiations through resolutions. The final agreement must be approved by the whole Parliament. In a debate with Croatian State Secretary for European Affairs Nikolina Brnjac, on behalf of the Council Presidency, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, Parliament took stock of the withdrawal process and the challenges ahead. The Protocol on Northern Ireland, known as the „Irish Backstop”, was an annex to the November 2018 draft agreement that outlined provisions to avoid a hard border in Ireland after the UK`s withdrawal from the European Union. . . .