The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, officially titled the UK`s withdrawal agreement from Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community. is a treaty signed on 24 January 2020 between the European Union (EU), Euratom and the United Kingdom (UK)  which sets the conditions for the UK`s withdrawal from the EU and Euratom. The text of the treaty was published on 17 October 2019 and is a renegotiated version of an agreement published six months earlier. The previous version of the withdrawal agreement was rejected three times by the House of Commons, leading Queen Elizabeth II to accept Theresa May`s resignation as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and appoint Boris Johnson as the new Prime Minister on 24 July 2019. The NI protocol, known as “backstop,” is supposed to be temporary and applies unless it is replaced by a future relationship agreement that the parties will attempt to reach by December 31, 2020. The protocol provides that the common travel area and North-South cooperation will continue to a large extent as they do today, as well as the internal electricity market (so that some EU legislation on wholesale electricity markets will continue to apply). 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.   Four years after the backstop came into force in Northern Ireland, the elected representatives of Northern Ireland may decide by a simple majority whether or not to continue to apply EU legislation applicable in Northern Ireland. There is no indication of what would happen if consent to follow-up were withheld. On 13 November 2018, the EU decided that “decisive progress” had been made in the Brexit negotiations, and on 14 November the European Commission and the UK Government published a draft withdrawal agreement as well as three protocols (on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the SOVEREIGN territories of the United Kingdom in Cyprus and Gibraltar) and nine annexes. The text of the negotiated withdrawal agreement and the political declaration on the framework for future EU-UK relations were approved by EU heads of state and government at a specially convened European Council on 25 November 2018. 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.