The 2019 revisions also adapted elements of the political declaration and replaced the word « appropriate » with « appropriate » with respect to labour standards. According to Sam Lowe, a trade fellow at the Centre for European Reform, the amendment excludes labour standards from dispute resolution mechanisms.  In addition, the Equal Competition Mechanism has been postponed from the legally binding withdrawal agreement to the political declaration, and the line of the political statement that « the United Kingdom will consider taking into account alignment with trade union rules in the relevant areas » has been removed.  EU and UK negotiators have reached an agreement on the draft withdrawal agreement allowing the European Council (Article 50) to adopt guidelines for the future EU-UK relationship on 23 March 2018. The revised Protocol of October 2019 provides for the maintenance of an open border between Northern Ireland and Ireland if the UK and the EU are unable to conclude a new relationship agreement by the end of the transition period. The declaration on the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, also known as the Political Declaration, is a non-binding declaration, negotiated and signed at the same time as the mandatory and broader withdrawal agreement on the uk`s withdrawal from the European Union (EU), known as Brexit, and the planned end of the transition period. 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. This project has been replaced by a new protocol that will be described as follows. While the previous « backstop » has kept the UK in a customs union with the EU, the new AV sees that the whole of the UK (including Northern Ireland) is leaving the EU customs union. From a legal point of view, Northern Ireland remains a part of the British customs territory.
Northern Ireland will be included in the UK`s free trade agreements. The same conditions of competition concerned taxation, environmental protection, labour standards, state aid and competition. These have been replaced by less specific and non-binding commitments in the political declaration to impose these principles in any future trade agreement between the EU and the UK.