On 6 September 2020, the Financial Times reported that the UK government was considering drafting new laws to circumvent the protocol of the Northern Ireland Withdrawal Agreement.  The new law would give ministers the power to determine which state aid should be notified to the EU and to define which products at risk of being transferred from Northern Ireland to Ireland (the withdrawal agreement stipulates that in the absence of a reciprocal agreement, all products are considered vulnerable).  The government defended this approach and stated that the legislation was in accordance with protocol and that it had only “clarified” the volumity in the protocol.  Ursula von der Leyen warned Johnson not to violate international law and said that the implementation of the withdrawal agreement by Britain was a “precondition for any future partnership”.  On 8 September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, told the British Parliament that the government`s internal market bill would “violate international law”.”  Since March, the EU and the United Kingdom have continued regular negotiations, despite the difficulties associated with the COVID 19 pandemic. The EU is conducting its negotiations on the basis of the mutually agreed political declaration. However, significant differences have not yet been resolved in some areas. These differences include fair competition, horizontal management of each agreement and fisheries. EU and UK negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost and their teams have recently stepped up their negotiations. The clock is ticking, because an agreement must be reached quickly to have time for ratification by the European Parliament.
The EU and the UK have reached an agreement on the withdrawal agreement with a revised protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland (abolition of the “backstop”) and a revised political declaration. On the same day, the European Council (Article 50) approved these texts. The House of Commons votes on the Brexit bill. This means that the UK is on track to leave the EU on 31 January. However, the House of Lords and the European Parliament have yet to approve the agreement. “We had asked our British friends to remove the problematic parts of their internal market bill by the end of September,” she said. “This bill is, by its very nature, a violation of the duty of good faith set out in the withdrawal agreement.