The Financial Times reported on Monday, citing three sources familiar with the plan, that the prime minister intended to “remove the legal force of certain parts of the withdrawal agreement.” The government will introduce legislation on Wednesday called the Internal Market Act which, if passed, would effectively replace parts of the withdrawal agreement on Northern Ireland`s relations with Britain. This is only the first step in the legislation that would wipe out parts of a pioneering agreement that Mr Johnson reached with the European Union last autumn. The agreement paved the way for Britain to leave the bloc after 44 years. 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 trade fellow at the Centre for European Reform, the amendment excludes labour standards from dispute resolution mechanisms.  In addition, the Equal Competition Mechanism has been postponed from the legally binding withdrawal agreement to the political declaration, and the line of the political statement that “the United Kingdom will consider taking into account alignment with trade union rules in the relevant areas” has been removed.  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 This project has been replaced by a new protocol that will be described as follows.
The move, which was first reported by the Financial Times, would reduce parts of the UK`s agreement with the EU on state aid and customs regimes for Northern Ireland. It goes without saying that the British government believes that the original protocol is ambiguous enough to allow for a change of interpretation – a view that should be hotly contested by Brussels. Johnson says the EU has threatened to interpret the withdrawal agreement “extremely” to “block” food deliveries from the rest of the UK to Northern Ireland unless Britain agrees to EU rules. If there is no agreement during this two-year period, Ireland could return to a form of hard border, but it is unlikely to happen.