The British Parliament approved the draft agreement by adopting on 23 January 2020 the implementing laws (the 2020 Withdrawal Agreement Act) of the European Union (withdrawal agreement). Following the signing of the agreement, the UK Government adopted and tabled the UK`s ratification instrument on 29 January 2020.  The agreement was ratified by the Council of the European Union on 30 January 2020, after approval by the European Parliament on 29 January 2020. The UK`s withdrawal from the EU came into force on 31 January 2020 at 11 .m GMT, when the withdrawal agreement came into force in accordance with Article 185. On 15 January 2019, the House of Commons voted with 230 votes against the Brexit withdrawal agreement the largest vote against the British government in history.  The government may survived a vote of confidence the next day.  On March 12, 2019, the House of Commons voted 149 votes against the agreement, the fourth-biggest defeat of the government in the history of the House of Commons.  A third vote on the Brexit withdrawal agreement, widely expected on 19 March 2019, was rejected by the House of Commons spokesman on 18 March 2019, on the basis of a parliamentary convention of 2 April 1604, which prevented British governments from forcing the House of Commons to vote several times on a subject already voted on by the House of Commons.    An abbreviated version of the withdrawal agreement, in which the annex political statement had been withdrawn, consisted of the test of “substantial amendments,” so that a third vote was held on 29 March 2019, but was rejected by 58 votes.  Section 78A – NIHRC Functions with respect to the EU Withdrawal Agreement 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 expiry of the transitional period. In this case, the UK will eclipse the EU`s common external tariff and Northern Ireland will stick to aspects of the internal market until such an event is carried out. Neither party 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 needed.
 474The NIHRC is required to monitor the implementation of Article 2, paragraph 1, of the protocol (78A, paragraph 1). It will also be required to report to the Secretary of State and the Executive Office of Northern Ireland on the application of Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Protocol (78A, paragraph 2) and to compel them to respond to such a report and to clarify the actions they have taken or are considering taking in response to the recommendations in the report (78A(3)).