In entering into a contract of engagement, the associated organization has assumed full responsibility for the number of shares indicated when they are not sold initially and promises to make the associated capital available in exchange for the available shares. 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: 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.  Both the UK and the EU agreed that opening the border and respecting the terms of the Good Friday Agreement were essential in negotiations on a post-Brexit deal. That is why they have committed themselves to the principle that, even if future trade negotiations fail, there should be provisions to ensure that the border remains as open as it is today. This principle is the Irish backstop.
The “backstop” would have required northern Ireland to remain in certain aspects of the internal market until an alternative agreement between the EU and the UK is concluded. The proposal also provided that the UK as a whole would have a common customs territory with the EU until a solution was found to avoid the need for customs controls in the UK (between Northern Ireland and Great Britain). The “backstop” element was that if the UK and the EU did not agree on another agreement, for example on a trade agreement between the UK and the EU at the end of the transition period, the agreement could continue to apply indefinitely. Under the draft withdrawal agreement, the UK would enter a “transition period” after Brexit (currently 31 October 2019). The EU has refused to set a timetable for the backstop line and hardline supporters fear it will link the UK indefinitely to the EU. This piece has been updated to cover the latest political developments around the backstop. This article is now obsolete as it refers to the Irish backstop as stipulated in Theresa May`s withdrawal agreement in November 2018. It reflects the situation until August 2019. On 29 March 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May launched the two-year Brexit negotiation process with a deadline set for Article 50 of the EU Treaty.
 In response, the other EU countries (EU-27) published their “phased” negotiating strategy, which postponed all negotiations on future relations with the UK (the non-binding “political declaration”) until a binding withdrawal agreement was reached: on 15 January 2019, the British Parliament rejected a government request to adopt the draft withdrawal agreement.