Therefore, if one of the proposals in the Internal Market Act that contradicts the withdrawal agreement did become law, it would violate the government`s international obligations. On 17 October 2019, EU leaders and Boris Johnson agreed on a revised withdrawal agreement that replaced the backstop with a new protocol.   In essence, this project would de facto keep Northern Ireland in the EU customs union and in the internal goods market (including the introduction of EU VAT), while allowing Britain to deviate. In December 2019, Labour announced that it had received an HM Treasury Paper with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which appears to show that the Prime Minister`s draft agreement would require certain types of two-way customs checks between Britain and Northern Ireland.  The Irish backstop was a protocol of the (un ratified) Brexit withdrawal agreement that would have kept the United Kingdom (generally) in the customs union of the European Union and Northern Ireland (in particular) on certain aspects of the European internal market until a solution was found to avoid a hard border. This should not compromise the Good Friday agreement and preserve the integrity of the European internal market. This would only have come into effect if there were no other solutions before the end of the (agreed) transition period. The Irish government supported this proposal.  It was strongly rejected by the Democratic Unionist Party as a weakening of Northern Ireland`s place in the UK and is seen as the main reason why Theresa May`s withdrawal agreement was never approved by the British Parliament.  The British government had rejected the original proposal. Demonstrating the will of the Northern Ireland agreement could help to revive the weakness of trade negotiations to be held in Brussels at the end of the week. Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney said that the fact that an agreement in principle on the outstanding issues relating to the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland had been reached was good news. In October 2019, the UK and EU negotiators agreed on a revised protocol (see below) that resolved many of these problems by allowing Northern Ireland to leave de jure but effectively the border between the islands (Ireland and Britain).
During the withdrawal negotiations, the Irish border issue was one of three areas that required a specific stream of negotiations to reach the necessary withdrawal agreement before future relations between the UK and the EU could be agreed.    The Irish and British governments as well as EU officials have stated that they do not want a hard border in Ireland, given the historical and social “sensitivities” that cross the island.  In the joint statement on progress in the talks under the leadership of the British Cabinet Minister, Michael Gove, and European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, “after intense and constructive work in recent weeks by the EU and the United Kingdom, the two co-chairs can now reach an agreement in principle on all issues , particularly with regard to the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, to make the announcement. The border is a sensitive issue because of northern Ireland`s history and peace evacuation agreements, including the elimination of visible signs of the border. The agreement, details of which will be presented to Parliament tomorrow, concerns `practical agreements on the EU`s presence in Northern Ireland`, which are considered `unseeded` by smuggling, as well as the introduction of export and import controls.