Oris Johnson rejected plans that would have led the government to violate international law after the UK and EU reached an agreement on the implementation of their divorce agreement. The UK justice minister called the law an “insurance policy” or a “glass break in an emergency.” The Justice Minister said the UK government would only invoke the powers in the bill if the EU and the UK failed to reach an agreement and the EU had acted “unreasonablely.” It is also unclear how the safeguards under Article 16 of the Protocol could apply, as they provide for unilateral measures by the UNITED Kingdom or the EU if the application of the protocol “causes serious economic, social or ecological difficulties that may persist or trade diversion”17 Following an unprecedented vote on 4 December 2018 , MEPs decided that the British Government did not respect Parliament because it refused to give Parliament the full legal advice it had been given on the consequences of its proposed withdrawal conditions.  The focus of the consultation was on the legal effect of the “backstop” agreement for Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom with regard to the CUSTOMS border between the EU and the United Kingdom and its impact on the Good Friday agreement that led to the end of the unrest in Northern Ireland, including whether , according to the proposals, the UK would be certain that it would be able to leave the EU in a practical sense. On 23 June 2016, the UK voted in a referendum to leave the EU. On 29 March 2017, Theresa May, then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, wrote to european Council President Donald Tusk triggering Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, triggering the process for a member state to leave the EU. The Article 50 procedure provides for a two-year period for the negotiation of a withdrawal agreement which should take into account future relations between the EU and the outgoing Member State. At the request of the United Kingdom, the Article 50 deadline was finally extended until 31 January 2020. On 17 October 2019, the EU and the UK agreed on the text of a withdrawal agreement, which was unanimously approved by the European Council.