RISHI Sunak has hit back at Eurosceptics who branded a crucial element of his Brexit deal as “practically useless” ahead of a crunch vote today.
Downing Street hit out at the group of hardliners who have criticised the new ‘Stormont brake’ which paves the way for EU goods rules in Northern Ireland to be blocked.
The intervention came after the European Research Group published its legal analysis yesterday (Tues) of the Windsor Framework on post-Brexit trade.
Criticism of the framework included how Brussels law would “remain supreme” in Northern Ireland and any exit from the framework involves a “highly complex legal process”.
But the Prime Minister’s Official spokesman said the brake does address the “democratic deficit and provides a clear democratic safeguard” for the province and don’t accept the ERG’s characterisation.
The mechanism gives no role for the EU in deciding when the brake is used, Number 10 said.
The agreement would allow for a minority of politicians in Belfast to raise objections to London about new laws from Brussels.
ERG chairman Mark Francois last night declined to reveal how its members would vote on the pact Mr Sunak struck with Brussels.
It comes after the DUP revealed they will vote against the framework in the Commons.
One senior group figure revealed the group may not all stand behind a united position.
The DUP’s Sammy Wilson said the analysis “exposes the hollowness of the government’s rhetoric on the Windsor Framework”.