With regard to the Irish border issue, there is a protocol on Northern Ireland (the „backstop“) which is annexed to the agreement and sets out a fallback position that will only enter into force if no other effective arrangement is demonstrated before the end of the transition period. If this happens, the UK will eclipse the EU`s common external tariff and Northern Ireland will remain in some aspects of the single market until such a demonstration is achieved. None of the parties 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 necessary. [19] The 2019 revisions also adapted elements of the Political Declaration and replaced the word „adequate“ with „adequate“ with respect to labour standards. According to Sam Lowe, a trade researcher at the Centre for European Reform, the change excludes labour standards from dispute resolution mechanisms. [27] In addition, the level playing field mechanism has been moved from the legally binding Withdrawal Agreement to the Political Declaration[24] and the line in the Political Declaration that „the UK will consider aligning itself with EU legislation in relevant areas“ has been deleted. [26] Persons covered by the Agreement who, in accordance with Union law, have resided continuously in the host Member State for an uninterrupted period of five years or more (with the exception of temporary absences of up to six months per year) have the right to reside permanently in the host State. In this respect, the right of permanent residence may be lost after acquisition only if the holder is absent or absent from the host Member State for five years or more. It shall also apply to family members of Union citizens and Union citizens and United Kingdom nationals, provided that they have also resided in the host Member State before the end of the transition period in accordance with Union law or, if they have not resided in the host Member State, are directly related to the Union citizen or the United Kingdom citizen to whom the Agreement applies.

Family members are defined as spouses, life partners, children up to the age of 21, dependent children over the age of 21 and dependent ascendants such as parents or grandparents of the Union or British citizens. Other family members, such as unwarried partners, are also insured if they have obtained or applied for status before the end of the transition period. .