Since about 2005, the border has been considered invisible, with little or no physical infrastructure, with security barriers and checkpoints being eliminated as a result of processes introduced by the Good Friday Agreement (or “Belfast Agreement” signed in 1998).    This agreement has the status of both an international treaty between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland (the Anglo-Irish Agreement) and an agreement between the parties in Northern Ireland (multi-party agreement). In order to avoid a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom, Article 6 of the Northern Ireland Protocol proposes that the United Kingdom and EU customs officers act as one from the end of the transition period (December 31, 2020) until the parties agree on a satisfactory alternative for both parties.  The single customs territory between the UK and the EU does not apply to fish products: for example, fish transported from Britain to Northern Ireland would be subject to EU tariffs in the absence of a separate fishing agreement.  The British Parliament has set a vote on Saturday on the revised withdrawal agreement negotiated before the 31 October Deadline for Brexit. In October 2019, the new Johnson government renegotiated the project and replaced the backstop. Under the new protocol, the whole of the UK leaves the EU customs union as a single customs territory. Northern Ireland will be included in the UK`s future trade agreements, but will not have tariffs or restrictions on goods crossing the Irish border in both directions, creating a de facto customs border in the Irish Sea with Britain. There is also a unilateral exit mechanism for the Northern Ireland Assembly to leave the protocol by a simple majority.    This new protocol has been described as “Chequers for Northern Ireland” by some, as it is comparable to the British plan for future relations of Theresa May`s Chequers, previously rejected by the EU and criticised by Johnson.
 The highlight of the two-year failure of the Brexit deal was the Conservative party`s opposition to the controversial backstop – a negotiated solution between former Prime Minister Theresa May and the European Union to resolve problems around the Irish border after the UK leaves the EU.