This triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union, which defines the procedure for the withdrawal of an EU member state, thus opening a two-year countdown to withdrawal. On 15 November 2018, the day after the agreement and the support of the British government were presented, several members of the government resigned, including Dominic Raab, Secretary of State for leaving the European Union.  The agreement also provides for a transitional period that will last until 31 December 2020 and can be extended by mutual agreement. During the transitional period, EU legislation will continue to apply to the UK (including participation in the European Economic Area, the internal market and the customs union) and the UK will continue to contribute to the EU budget, but the UK will not be represented in EU decision-making bodies. The transition period will give businesses time to adapt to the new situation and the new era, so that the British and European governments can negotiate a new trade agreement between the EU and the UK.   Charles Michel, President of the European Council, welcomed the vote and tweeted that it was an “important step in the ratification process under Article 50”. He added that “equal conditions of competition remain a must for all future relations.” He recalled the EU`s call for fair competition in exchange for a free trade agreement with zero tariffs and zero quotas. On 20 December 2019, after the Conservatives won the 2019 British general election, the House of Commons passed second reading of the withdrawal agreement with a 358-234 lead. Following the amendments proposed by the House of Lords and the ping-pong between the two houses, the bill was granted royal approval on 23 January 2020, allowing ratification on the British side.
 On 22 October, the British Parliament agreed to review the Brexit Act. But she decided it took longer than the British Prime Minister had proposed. This means that it is no longer possible to withdraw with an agreement on the planned date of Brexit, 31 October. The Brexit deal will not come into force until the Brexit law is passed by the British Parliament. After passing its second reading by a sovereign 358 votes to 234, the withdrawal agreement is on track to complete its adoption by both houses of Parliament in time for Brexit to take place at the end of January. The withdrawal agreement also contains provisions for the United Kingdom to leave the Convention setting the status of European schools, with the United Kingdom bound by the Convention and accompanying regulations on accredited European schools until the end of the last academic year of the transition period, i.e. at the end of the spring semester 2020-2021.  On the issue of the Irish border, there is a northern Ireland protocol (the “backstop”) which is attached to the agreement and establishes a position of withdrawal that will only come into force if effective alternative arrangements are not demonstrated before the end of the transition period.