6.General implementation of the EEA-EFTA and related Switzerland Agreements The United Kingdom has launched the formal withdrawal negotiation process by formally informing the European Council of its intention to leave the EU. 7.In the summer of 2017, the two sides agreed on the sequence of negotiations. They would first look at the withdrawal, starting with three specific areas arising from the UK`s withdrawal: the protection of citizens` rights after Brexit, the financial settlement and issues related to the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. They also agreed that “sufficient progress” was needed on these withdrawal issues before work could begin on the second element referred to in Article 50, the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the UK. On 23 January 2020, the UK Parliament approved the draft agreement by passing the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020. Following the signing of the Agreement, the Government of the United Kingdom issued and deposited the instrument of ratification of Great Britain on 29 January 2020.   The agreement was ratified by the Council of the European Union on 30 January 2020 after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament on 29 January 2020. The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union entered into force on 31 January 2020 at 11 .m GMT, and on that date the Withdrawal Agreement under Article 185 entered into force. After an unprecedented vote out of 4. In December 2018, MPs decided that the UK government was flouting Parliament for refusing to give Parliament the full legal opinion it had received on the impact of its proposed withdrawal conditions.
 The key point of the opinion concerned the legal effect of the “backstop” agreement for Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the UK with regard to the EU-UK customs border and its impact on the Good Friday Agreement, which had led to an end to the unrest in Northern Ireland – and in particular whether the UK would be safe, to be able to leave the EU in a practical sense according to the draft proposals. 9.In joint report sets out the UK`s determination to resolve the Irish border issue in a future relationship agreement. or, if not, to propose technological solutions. However, both sides agreed that “in the absence of agreed solutions”, the UK would “maintain full respect for the rules of the single market and customs union, which now or in the future support North-South cooperation, the island economy and the protection of the 1998 agreement”.8 This agreement was the genesis of what became known as the “Northern Ireland backstop”. the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland annexed to the text of the Withdrawal Agreement of November 2018. EU and UK negotiators reached an agreement on the draft Withdrawal Agreement, which will allow the European Council (Article 50) to adopt guidelines on the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the UK on 23 March 2018. The 2019 revisions also adapted elements of the political declaration, replacing the word “appropriate” with “appropriate” in relation to labour standards. According to Sam Lowe, a trade researcher at the Centre for European Reform, the change excludes labour standards from dispute resolution mechanisms.  In addition, the level playing field mechanism has been moved from the legally binding Withdrawal Agreement to the Political Declaration and the line in the Political Declaration that “the UK will consider aligning itself with EU legislation in relevant areas” has been deleted.  The agreement also provides for a transitional period, which lasts until 31 December 2020 and can be extended once by mutual agreement. .