Tory Brexiteers To Vote Against Windsor Framework As Rebellion Grows
Hardline Tory Brexiteers will vote against Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal this afternoon as the backbench rebellion against the prime minister grows.
In a further blow to the PM’s authority, the European Research Group announced it was recommending to its members that they oppose the Windsor Framework.
It comes after Boris Johnson and Liz Truss both confirmed they will vote against the agreement.
With the DUP also voting against, it looks increasingly likely that Sunak will have to rely on Labour votes to get the deal through the Commons.
ERG chairman Mark Francois said the group was“strongly recommending” its members vote against this deal.
He said the agreement had been “rushed and over sold” by Downing Street.
More than 30 ERG members attended the meeting and none spoke out against the decision, he said.
Under the Windsor Framework, which Sunak agreed with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen last month, the current customs border in the Irish Sea would be all-but removed.
Sunak has also claimed that a “Stormont brake” would allow the government to veto any new EU laws from being imposed on Northern Ireland.
However, the European Research Group of hardline Tory Brexiteer MPs yesterday said the mechanism was “practically useless”.
Outlining his opposition to Sunak’s deal, Boris Johnson said: “The proposed arrangements would mean either that Northern Ireland remained captured by the EU legal order – and was increasingly divergent from the rest of the UK – or they would mean that the whole of the UK was unable properly to diverge and take advantage of Brexit.
“That is not acceptable. I will be voting against the proposed arrangements today. Instead, the best course of action is to proceed with the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, and make sure that we take back control.”
Despite the Tory and DUP opposition, the government is still likely to win this afternoon’s vote as Labour have already said they will support it.
However, a major backbench rebellion would be an embarrassment for the prime minister, and would store up problems for the future.