This triggered Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union, which defines the procedure for the withdrawal of an EU member state, thus opening a two-year countdown to withdrawal. The agreement defines the goods, services and processes associated with them. Any provision of goods or services legally put on the market before leaving the EU may be made available to consumers in the UK or in the EU Member States (Article 40-41). Once EU citizens with pre-determined status have accumulated five years of legal residence in the UK, they can apply for their resident status to be revalued to a permanent status (settled status), which gives them more rights and better protection. In addition, EU citizens residing in the UK and British citizens residing in the European Union will be given full protection throughout their lives; they can continue to live, work, study and benefit from social security in the UK or the EU. These rights came into force immediately on the basis of the withdrawal agreement; the resulting necessary regulations are transposed into national legislation and implemented by appropriate measures. In Germany, laws amending the law on the free movement of persons came into force on 24 November 2020. It deals with the residence rights of British nationals and their family members who are entitled to free movement under the withdrawal agreement. For more information, visit the website of the Federal Ministry of Interior, Construction and Municipality. On 6 September 2020, the Financial Times reported that the UK government was considering drafting new laws to circumvent the protocol of the Northern Ireland Withdrawal Agreement.
 The new law would give ministers the power to determine which state aid should be notified to the EU and to define which products at risk of being transferred from Northern Ireland to Ireland (the withdrawal agreement stipulates that in the absence of a reciprocal agreement, all products are considered vulnerable).  The government defended this approach and stated that the legislation was in accordance with protocol and that it had only “clarified” the volumity in the protocol.  Ursula von der Leyen warned Johnson not to violate international law and said that the implementation of the withdrawal agreement by Britain was a “precondition for any future partnership”.  On 8 September, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, told the British Parliament that the government`s internal market bill would “violate international law”.”  As of 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom will no longer be part of the internal market or customs union.