Article 2 and Article 20 offer opportunities to limit backstops. Article 2, paragraph 2 of the protocol states that this is a temporary measure, while the United Kingdom identifies and develops a technology satisfactory to both parties, which carries out customs, excise, plant health and other border controls between the UK and the EU without apparent border infrastructure. The provisions must be in line with Section 10 of the European Union Withdrawal Act (Withdrawal Act) 2018 on the continuation of North-South cooperation and the prevention of new border agreements. The EU and the UK should do everything in their power to agree by 31 December 2020 on a future relationship that would take over from the backstop rules in Northern Ireland while avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland. It has been envisaged to solve all or part of the backstop of Northern Ireland, so that this is a single stop of Northern Ireland. The backstop has been sharply criticised by opponents of Theresa May within her party and beyond. The proposal for voluntary harmonization of the rules was too broad for them. In approving this principle, the Brexiteers, including former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who played a leading role in the Leave campaign, argued that Britain should be left in orbit indefinitely. Mr Barnier told French radio station RTL: „The time is too short to find an alternative to the Irish backstop and the UK`s divorce treaty with the European Union will not be reopened to negotiations.“  However, the „backstop“ may never have come into force and the question of what conditions of competition would apply to the United Kingdom in the long term, if at all, would also have been addressed in the negotiations on future relations, as they will be in the future.
In July 2019, Theresa May resigned and Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, with Boris Johnson saying he wanted to replace the Irish backstop as part of the withdrawal deal.  On 19 August, in a letter to the President of the European Council, the Prime Minister declared that the agreement was „undemocratic and incompatible with the sovereignty of the United Kingdom“.  He stressed that this was „not compatible with the UK`s desired end goal“ for its relations with the EU. Its third reason for the unsurability of the backstop is that it „weakens“ the Good Friday Agreement and the peace process in Northern Ireland. Tusk said opponents of the deal, without „realistic alternatives,“ supported the re-establishment of a hard border on the island of Ireland. That`s the reality, „even if they don`t admit it,“ he added.