The NI Protocol, known as the “backstop,” is intended to be temporary and valid unless it is replaced by an agreement on the future relationship that the parties will seek to conclude by December 31, 2020. The Protocol foresees that the common travel area and North-South cooperation will continue to a large extent as they do today, as will the internal electricity market (so that some EU legislation on wholesale electricity markets will continue to apply). If the Withdrawal Agreement is approved, an EU law (Withdrawal Agreement) will be introduced to transpose the Withdrawal Agreement into UK law. Following the library`s backgrounder, The User`s Guide to the Meaningful Vote, this document provides an updated overview of the national constitutional requirements for the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement. On the 13. In November 2018, the EU decided that “breakthrough 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 (across the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, the British Sovereign Sovereignty Areas in Cyprus and Gibraltar) and nine annexes. The text of the negotiated Withdrawal Agreement, as well as the Political Declaration on the Framework for the Future Relationship between the EU and the UK, were endorsed by EU leaders at a specially convened European Council meeting on 25 November 2018. On 19 October, Parliament also declared that a political agreement had been reached. The agreement also provides for a transitional period, which lasts until 31 December 2020 and can be extended once by mutual agreement. During the transition period, EU law will continue to apply to the UK (including participation in the European Economic Area, the Single Market and the Customs Union) and the UK will continue to contribute to the EU budget, but the UK will not be represented in EU decision-making bodies. The transition period will give businesses time to adjust to the new situation, and the UK and EU governments time to negotiate a new EU-UK trade deal.   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 […].