At their meeting, Johnson said he wanted to reach a “broad free trade agreement for goods and services and cooperation in other areas.” The agreement defines the goods, services and processes associated with them. Any provision of goods or services legally put on the market before leaving the EU may be made available to consumers in the UK or in the EU Member States (Article 40-41). The UK will keep a copy of the agreement while the original will return to Brussels where it will be kept in an archive along with other historic international agreements. The protocol also contains a unilateral exit mechanism for Northern Ireland: the Northern Ireland Assembly will vote every four years on whether these rules, which require a simple majority, should be maintained. These votes take place two months before the end of each four-year period, with the first period beginning at the end of December 2020 (when the transition period is scheduled). [26] If the Assembly is suspended on that date, the GG vote shall be held. If the Assembly expresses inter-community support in one of these periodic votes, the protocol will apply for the next eight years instead of the usual four years. [26] However, if the Assembly votes against the continuation of these rules, the UK and the EU will be given two years to adopt new rules. [24] [25] The referendum of 23 June 2016 gave a majority of 51.9% to 48.1% in favour of leaving the European Union. [15] The signatures mark a new stage in the ratification process after Parliament passed the Brexit Act earlier this week. The European Parliament will vote on the agreement on 29 January. “This bill undermines the withdrawal agreement already agreed by Parliament, reopens the debate on the protocol already in force in Northern Ireland, violates international law, undermines decentralisation agreements and would damage the UK`s global reputation as a nation loyal to the laws and the UK`s ability to enforce other international trade agreements and protect jobs and the economy.” The most important elements of the draft agreement are:[21] The agreement also provides for a transitional period that will last until 31 December 2020 and can be extended by mutual agreement. During the transitional period, EU legislation will continue to apply to the UK (including participation in the European Economic Area, the internal market and the customs union) and the UK will continue to contribute to the EU budget, but the UK will not be represented in EU decision-making bodies.