Many Conservatives and DUP members supporting Brexit continued to oppose the no-deadline backstop, fearing it would indefinitely link the UK to many EU rules, although the DUP said in January 2019 that it was open to the idea of a temporary backstop.  The EU (particularly the Irish Government) considers that a time-limited guarantee has no value, not least because of scepticism about the short-term provision of “alternative agreements”.  In his letter, Johnson promised that the British government and the British parliament would quickly approve a Brexit deal without a backstop. But he also says the UK will leave the EU on 31 October, regardless of that. Reality check: what do the Brexit backstop proposals mean? In the absence of an agreement with Britain, it would insist on border controls, which could pose a threat to a peace settlement in Northern Ireland which, to some extent, would depend on an unfettered north-south movement. The backstop would not take effect until after the transition period had ended, before all the details of the new relationship were developed. In Protestant and Catholic communities, where the 1998 Good Friday Agreement ended the armed conflict, the possibility of a hard border on the island of Ireland evokes anxious memories. A new border could dissolve this peace process. Under the backstop, the UK will form a customs union with the EU (with the exception of trade in fisheries and aquaculture products, which is expected to be the subject of a new agreement on fishing opportunities by 1 July 2020). The UK will comply with specific EU customs legislation, including for third countries, and some harmonisation of tax, environmental, labour law, state aid, competition and public enterprise/monopoly legislation will continue, but without any obligation to follow the new EU legislation and ECJ jurisprudence. In order to create a level playing field, the UK is committed not to competitiveise EU environmental protection, social and labour standards, state aid and competition, as well as state-owned enterprises in tax management.
The British Parliament must proceed with two authorisation procedures before the UK can ratify the withdrawal agreement.