The NI protocol, known as “backstop,” is supposed to be temporary and applies unless it is replaced by a future relationship agreement that the parties will attempt to reach by December 31, 2020. The protocol provides that the common travel area and North-South cooperation will continue to a large extent as they do today, as well as the internal electricity market (so that some EU legislation on wholesale electricity markets will continue to apply). The Northern Ireland Protocol, known as the Irish Backstop, was an annex to the November 2018 draft agreement outlining provisions to avoid a hard border in Ireland after the UK`s withdrawal from the European Union. The protocol provided for a provision of the safety net to deal with the circumstances in which satisfactory alternative arrangements were to come into force at the end of the transition period. This project has been replaced by a new protocol that will be described as follows. Since March, the EU and the UK have continued regular negotiations despite the difficulties associated with the COVID 19 pandemic. The EU is conducting its negotiations on the basis of the mutually agreed political declaration. However, significant differences have not yet been resolved in some areas. These differences include fair competition, horizontal management of each agreement and fisheries. EU and UK negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost and their teams have recently stepped up their negotiations. The clock is ticking, because an agreement must be reached quickly to have time for ratification by the European Parliament.
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.  If the EP approves the agreement by a simple majority, it must be adopted by the EU by the overqualified majority of the European Council of the other 27 Member States (20 from the other EU-27 representing 65% of the EU-27 population). The declaration on the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, also known as the Political Declaration, is a non-binding declaration, negotiated and signed at the same time as the mandatory and broader withdrawal agreement on the uk`s withdrawal from the European Union (EU), known as Brexit, and the planned end of the transition period. Rules of understanding and interpretation of the agreement. It is specified that they have the same legal force in the EU as in the UK. The rules have a direct effect, i.e. if they are precise and clear, they can be directly invoked by individuals before national courts.
The provisions of EU law are interpreted in accordance with EU law and the practice of the European Court of Justice. The EU wants to continue to forge a close partnership with the UK. We believe that it is possible to reach a fruitful agreement on the basis of the political declaration. However, it is important that we prepare for all possible outcomes of the negotiations. This includes preparing not to reach an agreement. The political declaration provides that the EU-UK agreement on future relations will essentially be an economic and security partnership. In accordance with the political declaration, the 27 EU Member States agreed on 25 February 2020 on the negotiating mandate of the European Commission, which is negotiating on behalf of the Member States on future relations between the EU and the UNITED Kingdom.