On 23 January 2020, the UK Parliament approved the draft agreement by passing the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020. Following the signing of the Agreement, the Government of the United Kingdom issued and deposited the instrument of ratification of Great Britain on 29 January 2020.   The agreement was ratified by the Council of the European Union on 30 January 2020 after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament on 29 January 2020. The withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Union entered into force on 31 January 2020 at 11 .m GMT, and on that date the Withdrawal Agreement under Article 185 entered into force. If there is no agreement between the two parties, the default position is that customs duties should be paid on all goods. For companies authorised to trade across the border with Northern Ireland, the Protocol is to be welcomed as it allows the free movement of people (British and Irish nationals) and goods across the border without customs duties, duties or documents, whether a free trade agreement is concluded before the end of the transition period. On October 22, 2019, the House of Commons voted by 329 votes to 299 to grant the revised Withdrawal Agreement (negotiated by Boris Johnson earlier this month) at second reading, but when the accelerated timetable he proposed did not receive the necessary parliamentary support, Johnson announced that the legislation would be suspended.   The agreement provides for a transitional period that will last at least until 31 December 2020. During this period, the UK will remain in the EU`s customs union and single market, and most EU law will continue to apply to the UK, but the UK will lose the ability to participate in EU legislation and the benefits of free trade agreements (FTAs) that the EU has with third countries. In order for the UK to continue to benefit from these free trade agreements during the transition period, the UK needs the consent of the EU and all third countries. In practice, therefore, trade in goods and services between the EU and the UK will remain largely unchanged during the transition period.