… was what is called the Northern Irish backstop plan. The “backstop” was drafted in the spirit of the Good Friday Agreement to help maintain an open border between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland after Brexit. And if the two sides could not agree on an agreement that would keep the border as open as it is today, that`s where the backstop would come in. The backstop would not apply if the UK left the EU without a deal, but the potential border problems remained. 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. Negotiations between civil servants resulted in a draft agreement that was to be finalised at a meeting between Jean-Claude Juncker and Theresa May on 4 December 2017 in Brussels. There has been progress in financial settlement and civil rights, but the meeting was interrupted after the Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party opposed agreements for the Irish border.  BRUSSELS (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has taken a new step to bring down Ireland`s backstop of the Brexit deal, renewing a demand the EU has repeatedly rejected.
According to the Attorney General (the government`s supreme legal adviser), this instrument has reduced the likelihood that the UK will be kept in the backstop against its will if the EU blockes negotiations on future relationship agreements with bad intentions. Many MPs have criticised the backstop for two main reasons. That this would lead to other rules for Northern Ireland compared to the rest of the UK (which some considered the integrity of the UK) and that the UK would not be able to leave the backstop without EU authorisation. Paul Bew, a Crossbench peer, noted that the downward nature of the backstop reverses the ascendancy of the Good Friday Agreement, risking “the current deterioration of North-South relations increasing in unpredictable and dangerous ways.”  The “backstop” was born when the UK rejected an EU proposal to introduce customs controls in the Irish Sea. Maintaining continuity between Britain and Northern Ireland was a non-negotiable requirement of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). This played a role because the DUP`s support for former Prime Minister Theresa May was essential. In its first White Paper on Brexit, May`s government referred to the Belfast agreement and reaffirmed the UK`s compliance with the constitutional framework established in 1998. The backstop is the product of what May has repeatedly referred to as “red lines.” It concluded that extending the trade border to the whole of the UNITED Kingdom was the only viable option and that the EU was reluctant to accept the “backstop”. On 10 October 2019, Mr Johnson and Leo Varadkar held “very positive and promising” talks that led to the resumption of negotiations and a week later Mr Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker announced that they had agreed (subject to ratification) on a new withdrawal agreement replacing the backstop with a new protocol on Northern Ireland.2  New Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week declared “death” both the “backstop” agreement and the withdrawal.