The EU and the UK reach an interim agreement. It includes a transition period until 31 December 2020, during which all EU rules will continue to apply. It also covers the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. In accordance with Article 50, the member state that withdraws does not participate in the votes on its withdrawal. Therefore, the United Kingdom will not participate in the Council`s vote on the VA. 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.  The 2019 revisions also adapted elements of the political statement that replaced the word “appropriate” with “appropriate” with respect to labour standards.
According to Sam Lowe, a trade fellow at the Centre for European Reform, the amendment excludes labour standards from dispute resolution mechanisms.  In addition, the Equal Competition Mechanism has been postponed from the legally binding withdrawal agreement to the political declaration, and the line of the political statement that “the United Kingdom will consider taking into account alignment with trade union rules in the relevant areas” has been removed.  The transitional period ends in accordance with the withdrawal agreement. Since his departure, the UK has had no say in the EU institutions. Citizens of the United Kingdom are therefore also excluded from participating in European citizens` initiatives, they do not have the right to vote in local elections in other EU countries or in elections to the European Parliament, and you do not stand for election. The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 at midnight (23:00 GMT). A transitional period is now in effect until 31 December 2020. During this period, all EU laws and regulations continue to apply in the UK. For businesses and the public, virtually nothing will change.