Blog: Boris Johnson and Liz Truss to vote against Northern Ireland Brexit plan – The Guardian

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

Johnson confirmed he would not be backing the deal when MPs vote on the so-called Stormont brake in the Commons, with Truss set to follow suit.

In a statement, Johnson described the revised plan as “not acceptable” as he believes it will keep Northern Ireland “captured by the EU legal order”. It is understood that Truss believes the revised framework will impinge on the UK’s ability to diverge from EU rules and regulations.

The Stormont brake would give the Northern Ireland assembly a greater say over the implementation of EU law in the region and let the UK government ultimately veto any new EU laws applying to trade in Northern Ireland.

The prime minister is unlikely to face an overall defeat in the Commons on the statutory instrument implementing the Stormont brake, but being forced to rely on Labour’s support to get the deal over the line will signal a huge blow to his leadership.

While the vote is focused on the Stormont brake mechanism of the Windsor framework agreement signed last month, No 10 has indicated it could be seen as a vote on the entire revised deal.

In a statement reported by the Daily Telegraph, 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.”

A source close to Truss said she planned to vote against it too. Truss is understood to believe the prime minister’s Windsor pact does not “satisfactorily resolve the issues thrown up by” the Northern Ireland protocol and “almost fatally impinges” on the UK’s ability to diverge from EU rules and regulations.

Johnson is expected to briefly leave his questioning at the Commons privileges committee over Partygate on Wednesday afternoon to have his say on the measure.

The Democratic Unionist party (DUP) and the European Research Group (ERG), which represents Conservative Brexit hardliners, are also set to oppose the government in the first parliamentary vote on the framework Brexit deal.

DUP officers met on Monday and took a unanimous decision to reject Sunak’s revised plan for post-Brexit trade arrangements in Northern Ireland, the party’s leader, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, said in a statement.

“It does not deal with some of the fundamental problems at the heart of our current difficulties. There remain key areas of concern which require further clarification, reworking and change as well as seeing further legal text,” Donaldson said.

The Conservative backbencher Peter Bone is among Tories who have signalled they may join Johnson and vote against the deal. He said he was “pretty miffed” about the government’s approach to a vote on the Stormont brake.

The former Commons deputy leader told Sky News: “We were promised a full debate on the Windsor framework. If I get a question at PMQs I’m going to ask the prime minister what happened to our wider vote.

“So I’m really pretty miffed that the government is avoiding scrutiny on this and on the brake itself it seems to fail all the tests.

“If that is the case, I’m going to listen to the debate. I’m going to go to meetings this morning, but if I had to vote at this moment in time, I should vote against.”

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