Blog: MPs to be given vote on key part of new Brexit deal – Gazette Series

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt confirmed MPs will be asked to approve a statutory instrument relating to the Stormont brake section of the Windsor Framework on Wednesday March 22.

It represents the first Commons test for the Prime Minister’s deal with the EU.

The agreement seeks to reduce the volume of Brexit red tape on the movement of GB goods bound for Northern Ireland that was created by the Northern Ireland Protocol.

It introduces the so-called Stormont brake mechanism that enables a minority of Stormont MLAs to formally flag concerns about the imposition of new EU laws in Northern Ireland.

The process could ultimately lead to the UK Government vetoing their introduction.

Details of how the brake will operate are due to be outlined in the secondary legislation, which Ms Mordaunt said would be published on Monday.

The DUP, which collapsed powersharing in Northern Ireland in protest at the protocol, has said the Windsor Framework does not deal with some “fundamental problems” created by existing arrangements.

Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg
Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt said details of how the brake would operate would be published on Monday (Victoria Jones/PA)

Announcing the business for next week, Ms Mordaunt said: “On Wednesday March 22 a debate (will take place) on a motion to approve a statutory instrument relating to the Stormont brake in the Windsor Framework.”

DUP MP Sammy Wilson welcomed the debate, but referenced his party’s concerns over the framework.

The MP for East Antrim sought assurances that there would be “adequate answers given by the ministers who are responsible in this debate, explaining the difference between the rhetoric and the reality of the framework document”.

In response, Ms Mordaunt said she wanted to ensure there was time to debate “areas of concern” and said the statutory instrument would be a “keystone” in the framework.

On Tuesday, a meeting of EU ministers at its General Affairs Council is expected to sign off on the pact.

The European Research Group of Tory Brexiteers has commissioned a so-called “star chamber” of experts to consider the deal before it decides how to vote.

Mark Francois, the group’s chairman, said: “We are still awaiting the outcome of the star chamber’s detailed legal audit of the Windsor Framework, which of course includes the Stormont brake.

“We now hope to see this completed before next Wednesday and members of the group will no doubt pay close attention to the star chamber’s conclusions, prior to any vote.”

The vote will form part of a major day in Parliament, with Boris Johnson also set to be questioned by the Privileges Committee as part of its inquiry into whether the former prime minister lied to MPs with his partygate denials.

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