The Irish backstop was a protocol in the (un ratified) Brexit withdrawal agreement that would have kept the UK (generally) in the customs union of the European Union and Northern Ireland (in particular) on certain aspects of the European internal market until a solution was found to avoid a hard border. This should not compromise the Good Friday agreement and preserve the integrity of the European internal market. This would only have come into effect if there were no other solutions before the end of the (agreed) transition period. The backstop would not apply if the UK left the EU without a deal, but the potential border problems remained. 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. Since this article was originally published in October 2018, the political situation around the backstop has changed. This is a summary of the main developments: while the rejection of the political backstop is understandable, the dissolution of the Good Friday Agreement is not acceptable. The agreement allows the Northern Province to express a desire to join the Republic of Ireland and serves as a „binding obligation on both governments to introduce and support legislation in their respective parliaments in order to meet this wish.” The only way to know what these wishes are today would be to ask the citizens of Northern Ireland. A new case, and in some respects a similar one, shows that it is a political point of view. „This [technical] idea was discussed and rejected by the UK and the EU in the summer of 2018, with both sides concluding that it would not keep an open border. That`s why we`ve finished the current backstop. There are no borders in the world right now, apart from a customs union that has eliminated border infrastructure.  Barnier told French radio station RTL: „The time is too short to find an alternative solution to the Irish backstop and the UK`s divorce treaty with the European Union will not be reopened to negotiations.”  The Irish backstop seems controversial enough to stop Brexit. Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he is determined to „get rid” of the backstop, calling it „anti-democratic.” As far as Brexit is concerned, a „hard border” means a limited number of authorized (and physically controlled) crossing points, occupied by customs officers and police and supported by military personnel in times of tension.
 Drivers of vehicles crossing the vehicle must report goods during transport, commercial carriers must submit bill of lading and prove that the goods meet the minimum standards of the area concerned.