Blog: Brexit is DONE: Sunak’s deal passes through Commons… but without backing of 70 Tory MPs – Express

A source inside the powerful European Research Group warned that viewing this as a victory for Mr Sunak is “bonkers”, given the number of abstentions.

This morning, ERG Chairman Mark Francois told reporters that senior officers recommended that the group should vote against the Statutory Instrument. He said no one present spoke out against that conclusion.

Mr Sunak was expected to have to rely on opposition votes in order to get the deal through.

Fears of a rebellion were exacerbated when Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Sir Iain Duncan Smith – three former Conservative leaders – as well as former Home Secretary all announced this morning that they would vote against the deal.

Reacting to the outcome of the vote, a senior member of the ERG said: “It was 21 Tory MPs but keep an eye on how many of our colleagues abstained.”

A Red Wall MP said: “In the end now it is about uniting and winning the next election. True the deal stinks but if we win the next election we can change it again. We can’t do anything if we lose.”

Meanwhile, former home secretary Priti Patel told the Daily Express: “It’s the first time I’ve voted against the government since [Theresa May in] 2019. It’s an issue of principle though.”

A veteran Brexiteer added: “Some of the younger MPs from the 2019 intake who were not here for the fight after the referendum lost their nerves and abstained instead.”

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