Blog: Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal for Northern Ireland formally signed off with EU – The Guardian

Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal for Northern Ireland has been formally signed off at a meeting in London, after a Conservative rebellion against the deal failed this week.

James Cleverly, the foreign secretary, adopted the new arrangements for Northern Ireland at a meeting with the European Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič.

It comes after Sunak won the overwhelming backing of MPs for the Windsor framework, which seeks to overcome trade problems with the Northern Ireland protocol struck in the original Brexit deal.

Boris Johnson was one of the 22 Tory MPs who refused to back the revised deal, along with the Democratic Unionist party, but they failed to stop the passage of the new arrangements. Others who opposed the plan were Sunak’s immediate predecessor as prime minister, Liz Truss, the former Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith, and the former cabinet ministers Jacob Rees-Mogg, Priti Patel and Simon Clarke.

In a joint statement, Cleverly and Šefčovič said they had met in a “constructive atmosphere”.

“The joint committee welcomed the positive approach of both sides and adopted the new arrangements set out in the Windsor framework.

“These arrangements address, in a definitive manner, the challenges in the operation of the protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland over the last two years and the everyday issues faced by people and businesses in Northern Ireland, while supporting and protecting the Good Friday or Belfast agreement in all its parts, and protecting the integrity of the European Union’s single market, and Northern Ireland’s place in the United Kingdom’s internal market.

“Both sides agreed to work together intensively and faithfully to implement all elements of the Windsor framework. The United Kingdom and European Union also reaffirmed their intent to use all available mechanisms in the framework to address and jointly resolve any relevant future issues that may emerge.”

No 10 had feared a bigger rebellion but in the end did not need to rely on Labour votes for the legislation to pass.

skip past newsletter promotion

Alongside the 22 Tory rebels, another 47 Conservatives recorded no vote but the revolt was not big enough to cause trouble for Downing Street, as would have been the case if 34 or more Conservative MPs had rebelled.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s