publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-01/0001/20001.pdf The reception of the agreement in the House of Commons ranged from cold to hostile, and the vote was delayed by more than a month. Prime Minister May has received a motion of no confidence within her own party, but the EU has refused to accept further changes. The most important elements of the draft agreement are:  On 15 November 2018, the day after the agreement was presented and the support of the British government, several members of the government, including Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for leaving the European Union, resigned.  The agreement provides for a transitional period until 31 December 2020, during which current EU rules can continue to apply to the UK and begin negotiations on the way forward (the possibility of extending the transition period has been removed from the most recent version). If passed, the bill would be an “extremely serious violation” of the withdrawal agreement and international law. 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 19 December 2019, the British government introduced the amended EU Bill (Withdrawal Agreement) in the House of Commons. The aim of the bill is to “implement the agreement between the UK and the EU, in accordance with Article 50, paragraph 2, of the Treaty on the European Union, which sets out the terms of the UK`s exit from the EU, and to adopt other provisions relating to the EU.” The bill and its explanatory notes are available on the following link: this bill aims to implement the agreement between the UK and the EU, in accordance with Article 50, paragraph 2, of the Treaty on the European Union, which sets out the terms of the UK`s exit from the EU.
The British Parliament approved the draft agreement by adopting on 23 January 2020 the implementing laws (the 2020 Withdrawal Agreement Act) of the European Union (withdrawal agreement). Following the signing of the agreement, the UK Government adopted and tabled the UK`s ratification instrument on 29 January 2020.  The agreement was ratified by the Council of the European Union on 30 January 2020, after approval by the European Parliament on 29 January 2020. The UK`s withdrawal from the EU came into force on 31 January 2020 at 11 .m GMT, when the withdrawal agreement came into force in accordance with Article 185. 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.