On 22 October 2019, the House of Commons agreed, by 329 votes to 299, to give a second reading to the revised withdrawal agreement (negotiated by Boris Johnson earlier this month), but when the accelerated timetable it had proposed did not receive the necessary parliamentary support, Johnson announced that the law would be overturned.   Free movement will continue until the end of the transition period (or the transposition period) and EU and UK nationals will be able to move to the UK or Member States, as currently permitted by EU legislation. EU citizens living in their host country before the end of the transition have a permanent right of residence under the withdrawal agreement due to certain requirements. Under the agreement, the UK and EU-27 have discretion under which EU or UK nationals must apply for new resident status. On 6 September 2020, the Financial Times reported that the UK government was considering drafting new laws to circumvent the protocol of the Northern Ireland Withdrawal Agreement.  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”.”  The government has committed to vote on a resolution in both houses of Parliament before EPEP votes, where each parliament is asked to approve the withdrawal agreement. So far, the British Parliament had had two “wise votes” but had not approved the November 2018 withdrawal agreement, despite assurances from the EU in January 2019 that the backstop should not be permanent and other interpretations and clarifications in March 2019. The Strasbourg clarification package and the Attorney General`s opinion will be discussed in the Commons Briefing Paper 8525 The Strasbourg package, 13 March 2019.
Governance Withdrawal Agreement
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