Lawmakers last year rejected repeated efforts by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his predecessor Theresa May to secure support for their Brexit deal. However, Johnson`s comfortable 80-seat majority in December`s general election meant there was never any doubt that the law would be passed this time. The House of Commons supported an earlier bill at second reading in October; but rejected the Prime Minister`s plan to bring him down by Parliament within days, prompting him to push for parliamentary elections. A fifth amendment called for the bill to be amended to take note of the Sewel Convention, which stipulates that Parliament should not legislate on de decentralised issues without the agreement of the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Stormont Assembly in Northern Ireland. 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”.”  On 15 November 2018, the day after the agreement was presented and the support of the British government cabinet, several members of the government resigned, including Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for leaving the European Union.  On 20 December 2019, after the Conservatives won the 2019 British general election, the House of Commons passed second reading of the withdrawal agreement with a 358-234 lead. Following the amendments proposed by the House of Lords and the ping-pong between the two houses, the bill was granted royal approval on 23 January 2020, allowing ratification on the British side.  If the next steps at Westminster go ahead as planned, the European Parliament is expected to ratify the withdrawal agreement on 29 January, paving the way for the UK to leave the bloc two days later. After the second defeat of May`s divorce agreement, the European Council met in Brussels on 21 March to decide what to do next.
EU leaders have given May two options: postpone Brexit until 22 May if MPs vote in favour of the withdrawal deal, or postpone it until 12 April if they vote against the deal. If the deal fails again in Parliament, May could ask for a lengthy extension. 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. On the European Union side, the European Parliament also approved the ratification of the agreement on 29 January 2020 and the Council of the European Union approved the conclusion of the agreement by e-mail on 30 January 2020.  That is why, on 30 January 2020, the European Union also tabled its ratification instrument