The NI protocol, known as „backstop,” is supposed to be temporary and applies unless it is replaced by a future relationship agreement that the parties will attempt to reach by December 31, 2020. The protocol provides that the common travel area and North-South cooperation will continue to a large extent as they do today, as well as the internal electricity market (so that some EU legislation on wholesale electricity markets will continue to apply). The UK has launched the formal process of withdrawal negotiations by formally announcing the European Council`s intention to leave the EU. After an unprecedented vote on 4 December 2018, MEPs ruled that the UK government was not respecting Parliament because it refused to give Parliament full legal advice on the consequences of its proposed withdrawal terms.  The focus of the consultation was on the legal effect of the „backstop” agreement for Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom with regard to the CUSTOMS border between the EU and the United Kingdom and its impact on the Good Friday agreement that led to the end of the unrest in Northern Ireland, including whether , according to the proposals, the UK would be certain that it would be able to leave the EU in a practical sense. The United Kingdom and the European Union reached an agreement at the European Council on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union. The revised withdrawal agreement and the political declaration were discussed and approved at the European Council on 17 October 2019. The Northern Ireland Protocol, known as the Irish Backstop, was an annex to the November 2018 draft agreement outlining provisions to avoid a hard border in Ireland after the UK`s withdrawal from the European Union. The protocol provided for a provision of the safety net to deal with the circumstances in which satisfactory alternative arrangements were to come into force at the end of the transition period. This project has been replaced by a new protocol that will be described as follows. Finland will be represented at the European Council by the Prime Minister and the General Affairs Council by the Minister for European Affairs.
In addition, an ad hoc group on Article 50, made up of experts from the Member States, has been set up to assist the Council in the withdrawal negotiations. The group met weekly in Brussels. Some EU rules on food and agriculture also apply to NI during the backstop period.