Johnson and Truss to vote against Sunak’s Brexit deal

Both Boris Johnson and Liz Truss will vote against Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal in Parliament.

The two former prime ministers will be part of an expected backbench rebellion against the Brussels-brokered deal, though the extent of the Tory opposition remains unclear.

Johnson confirmed on Wednesday that he will not back the deal when MPs vote on the Stormont brake in the House of Commons later on Wednesday, and Truss will do the same.

In a statement, Johnson said: “The proposed arrangements would either mean that Northern Ireland would remain under the control of the EU legal order, and would increasingly diverge from the rest of the UK, or would mean that the whole of the UK would not be able to diverge. and take advantage of Brexit.

“That is not acceptable. Today I will vote against the proposed arrangements.

“Instead, the best course of action is to proceed with the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill and make sure we regain control.”

A source close to Truss said she, too, plans to vote against it.

Ms Truss is understood to believe the Prime Minister’s Windsor pact does not “satisfactorily resolve the issues raised by” the Northern Ireland Protocol and “almost fatally affects” the UK’s ability to deviate from rules and regulations of the EU.

But with Labor backing the Windsor framework agreement signed last month, the government should handily win the Commons division, despite criticism from some Brexit-conservative Conservatives.

The DUP has already said that its eight MPs will vote against the regulation to implement the Stormont brake while it continues to seek changes to the overall framework.

Other potential rebels include former Home Secretary Priti Patel and former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith.

Johnson’s confirmation of his opposition to the UK-EU deal comes ahead of his appearance before the Committee on Privileges, where he will be questioned by MPs investigating claims he knowingly misled Parliament on the matter. from partygate.

The former prime minister, who agreed the original Northern Ireland Protocol with Brussels as a way to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, had indicated earlier this month that he would find it “very difficult” to support the Windsor deal.

On Tuesday, the European Research Group (ERG) said the brake, which aims to veto the imposition of new EU regulations in Northern Ireland, is “virtually useless” following an analysis of the frame by his “star camera” of lawyers

President Mark Francois told TalkTV that he will join the rebels in voting against the government, and that the eurosceptic group will meet later to discuss their position.

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Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will meet the EU’s Maros Sefcovic on Friday to formally adopt the Windsor pact (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will meet the EU’s Maros Sefcovic in London on Friday to formally adopt the Windsor pact at a joint committee meeting on the Withdrawal Agreement.

While the DUP is in no position to block him, his opposition suggests that a return to power-sharing in Stormont is highly unlikely anytime soon.

The Executive and Assembly have been suspended since the DUP walked out last year in protest at the way the protocol operated, saying it weakened Northern Ireland’s position in the UK.

Downing Street has indicated that there could be further votes in the coming weeks on the legal instruments needed to implement other elements of the framework.

However, there is frustration among some parliamentarians that Mr Sunak is resisting calls for a blanket vote on the entire framework document.

Conservative MP Peter Bone said he was “quite upset” by the government’s approach to the vote, saying he could join Johnson in voting against this part of the deal.

“I am really quite upset that the government is avoiding scrutiny on this, and on the brake itself, it seems to fail all the tests,” Bone, who was deputy speaker of the House for three months last year, told Sky News. .

“If that is the case, I will listen to the debate. I’m going to the meetings this morning, but if I had to vote right now, I should vote against it.”

Andrea Jenkyns, a Johnson loyalist, also confirmed that she will vote against the deal, tweeting that it is a “capitulation to the EU.”


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