On the issue of the Irish border, there is a protocol on Northern Ireland (the “backstop”) which is attached to the agreement and establishes a position of withdrawal which will only come into force in the absence of effective alternative provisions before the expiry of the transition period. In this case, the UK will eclipse the EU`s common external tariff and Northern Ireland will stick to aspects of the internal market until such an event is carried out. Neither party can unilaterally withdraw from this customs union. The aim of this backstop agreement is to avoid a “hard” border in Ireland, where customs controls are needed.  On 22 October 2019, the House of Commons agreed, by 329 votes to 299, to give a second reading to the revised withdrawal agreement (negotiated by Boris Johnson earlier this month), but when the accelerated timetable it had proposed did not receive the necessary parliamentary support, Johnson announced that the legislation would be paused.   The Northern Ireland Protocol should be welcomed in some respects. It gives Businesses in Northern Ireland the certainty that trade relations with the EU (including kings) and Britain will remain virtually unchanged until the end of the transition period. For NI companies that trade only on the island of Ireland, the withdrawal agreement will ensure security on the status quo (including free market access for EU goods) after the end of the transitional period and regardless of the conclusion of a free trade agreement between the UK and the EU. 30.Some litigation procedures under the withdrawal agreement Under the revised Protocol of October 2019, if the UK and the EU are unable to conclude a new relationship agreement before the end of the transitional period, an open border between Northern Ireland and Ireland will be maintained. 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.