The EP Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) is responsible for drafting a resolution and recommendation for approval on the VA. AFCO will hold an extraordinary meeting today (23 January). A draft resolution will be considered and a recommendation for approval will be adopted. The coordinator of Parliament`s Steering Group on Brexit, Guy Verhofstadt, led the work on the draft resolution. It recommends that the EP agree to the VA. Ten other parliamentary committees also sent notices to AFCO on the VA. The European Parliament will “under no circumstances” approve a future agreement between the EU and Britain if London fails to comply with the Brexit withdrawal agreement, the assembly`s heads of state and government said on Friday. 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.  Voting is conducted by a “enhanced qualified majority.” The “qualified majority” of the standard standard requires the approval of 55% of Member States representing at least 65% of the total EU population.
A “enhanced qualified majority” requires 72% of Member States representing at least 65% of the population. This means that representatives of at least 20 of the remaining 27 Member States will be required to approve the VA. The agreement was revised as part of the Johnson Department renegotiation in 2019. The amendments amend about 5% of the text The European Union and the United Kingdom conclude a draft withdrawal agreement. 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”.”  “Should the United Kingdom