This triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which sets out the procedure for a member state`s exit from the Union and introduces a two-year countdown to withdrawal. This briefing deals in detail with the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the EU and the UK and concluded on 14 November 2018. It was endorsed by the heads of state and government of the EU member states at an extraordinary European Council on 25 November and the British Prime Minister promoted it in the British Parliament and throughout the country. The agreement has been the subject of several in-depth debates in Parliament and has been voted on three times. But the House of Commons did not approve it. A second Extension of Article 50 lasted until 31 October 2019, but once again the UK faces the possibility of leaving the EU without a deal if this or any other deal is not ratified by the UK and the EU. The UK will be able to conclude trade agreements with third countries; However, the customs union would considerably limit the UK`s ability to have very different trade relations with them, particularly with regard to goods. The United Kingdom would have more room for manoeuvre to offer different conditions for trade in services and sectors such as government procurement. Immediately after the announcement of a revised withdrawal agreement on 17 October 2019, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the DUP said they could not support the new agreement.  Receipt 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 won a no-confidence motion against her own party, but the EU refused to accept further changes.
The provisions on citizens` rights were adopted by the UK and the EU in the draft Withdrawal Agreement of March 2018. There is no modification or addition of content, except in the provisions relating to the rights of nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The Declaration on the Future Relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, also known as the Political Declaration, is a non-binding declaration, negotiated and signed at the same time as the binding and more comprehensive Withdrawal Agreement in the context of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU), commonly known as Brexit, and the planned end of the transition period. The 2019 revisions also adapted elements of the political declaration and replaced the word “appropriate” with “appropriate” with respect to labour standards. According to Sam Lowe, a fellow at the Centre for European Reform, the amendment excludes labour standards from dispute settlement mechanisms.  In addition, the mechanism for a level playing field 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 government has committed to vote, before the EP vote, in both houses of Parliament, a resolution asking each Assembly to approve the Withdrawal Agreement. . . .