The new political declaration sets out the framework for future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom and reflects the Government`s desire to conclude an ambitious, comprehensive, deep and flexible partnership on trade and economic cooperation with the EU, with a free trade agreement with the EU, in addition to security agreements and other areas of cooperation. The withdrawal agreement provides for a transitional period until 31 December 2020, during which time the UK will remain in the internal market, to ensure the smooth flow of trade until a long-term relationship is concluded. If no agreement is reached by then, the UK will leave the single market without a trade deal on 1 January 2021. The withdrawal agreement is closely linked to a non-binding political declaration on future relations between the EU and the UK. Five non-legislative legal acts concerning the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community were published today in the Official Journal. 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.

[19] 5 European Union Bill (Withdrawal Agreement) (Session 2019): agreement.html [was consulted on 6 Finally, Section C of the Official Journal today published the political statement defining the framework for future relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom. This declaration, on which the EU and the UK have agreed, sets out the parameters of a future cooperative relationship based on the values and interests of both parties, based on a balance of rights and duties guaranteeing the autonomy of EU decision-making and the sovereignty of the United Kingdom.

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