After being passed at second reading on Friday afternoon by 124 votes, the bill moves on to the next phase after the Christmas break. 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. 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.  The 2019 revisions also adapted elements of the political statement that 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.  The Declaration on Future Relations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, also known as the Political Declaration, is a non-binding declaration that was negotiated and signed at the same time as the binding and broader withdrawal agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU), known as Brexit, and at the end of the transition period. On 23 March 2018, EU and UK negotiators reached an agreement on the draft withdrawal agreement allowing the European Council (Article 50) to adopt guidelines for the framework for future eu-UK relations. After both chambers approved the legislation, he obtained royal approval on January 23.
Royal Assent is the approval of the monarch to include the bill in an Act of Parliament (Law).