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 EU and the UK have reached an agreement on the withdrawal agreement with a revised protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland (abolition of the “backstop”) and a revised political declaration. On the same day, the European Council (Article 50) approved these texts. Rules of understanding and interpretation of the agreement. It is specified that they have the same legal force in the EU as in the UK. The rules have a direct effect, i.e. if they are precise and clear, they can be directly invoked by individuals before national courts. The provisions of EU law are interpreted in accordance with EU law and the practice of the European Court of Justice. 6. The part of the institutional and final provisions (Articles 158-185) contains rules to ensure uniform interpretation and application of the agreement.
In addition, a joint commission and dispute resolution procedure will be put in place to manage the agreement. This section also sets out the objective that the parties will do everything in their power to reach agreement on their future relations before the end of the transition period. 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 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. The agreement defines the goods, services and processes associated with them. Any provision of goods or services legally put on the market before leaving the EU may be made available to consumers in the UK or in the EU Member States (Article 40-41). The Northern Ireland Protocol, known as the Irish Backstop, was an annex to the November 2018 draft agreement outlining provisions to avoid a hard border in Ireland after the UK`s withdrawal from the European Union. The protocol provided for a provision of the safety net to deal with the circumstances in which satisfactory alternative arrangements were to come into force at the end of the transition period. This project has been replaced by a new protocol that will be described as follows.
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.  The United Kingdom and the European Union reached an agreement at the European Council on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union.