11. April 2021
Under the UK`s withdrawal agreement, Northern Ireland will remain in the EU`s internal goods market to avoid a hard border with the Republic of Ireland. This triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union, which defines the procedure for the withdrawal of an EU member state, thus opening a two-year countdown to withdrawal. The 2019 revisions also adapted elements of the political declaration and 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.  On 6 September 2020, the Financial Times reported that the UK government was considering drafting new laws to circumvent the protocol of the Withdrawal Agreement in Northern Ireland.  The new law would give ministers the power to determine which state aid should be notified to the EU and to define which products at risk of being transferred from Northern Ireland to Ireland (the withdrawal agreement stipulates that in the absence of a reciprocal agreement, all products are considered vulnerable).  The government defended this approach and stated that the legislation was in accordance with protocol and that it had only „clarified“ the volumity in the protocol.  Ursula von der Leyen warned Johnson not to violate international law and said that the implementation of the withdrawal agreement by Britain was a „precondition for any future partnership“.
 On 8 September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, told the British Parliament that the government`s internal market bill would „violate international law“.“  MPs have given their last support to the bill that transposes the UK government`s Brexit deal. The withdrawal agreement also contains provisions for the United Kingdom to leave the Convention setting the status of European schools, with the United Kingdom bound by the Convention and accompanying regulations on accredited European schools until the end of the last academic year of the transition period, i.e. at the end of the spring semester 2020-2021.  Under the English votes for English laws procedure, the spokesperson certifies bills or bills that apply only to England and/or England and Wales. With regard to financial accounts, the spokesperson may certify funding applications or clauses or timetables exclusively relating to England, Wales and Northern Ireland.