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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Boris Johnson Says he Will Vote Against Rishi Sunak’s Brexit Plan

Boris Johnson Says he Will Vote Against Rishi Sunak’s Brexit Plan – Boris Johnson is set to oppose the Windsor framework deal proposed by Rishi Sunak, arguing that the updated proposal will continue to subject Northern Ireland to the legal jurisdiction of the European Union. It is anticipated that Johnson will interrupt his questioning at the Commons privileges committee on Wednesday afternoon to express his views on the matter briefly.

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During the initial parliamentary vote on the updated Windsor framework Brexit agreement, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the European Research Group (ERG), a group that advocates for a firm Brexit within the Conservative party, are expected to also vote against the government’s proposal.

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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.” The “Stormont brake” proposal aims to grant the assembly more authority in enforcing EU regulations in the area, while allowing the UK government to veto any fresh EU laws related to trade in Northern Ireland. 

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In a statement, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, announced that the party’s executives unanimously declined Rishi Sunak’s updated proposition for trade agreements in Northern Ireland after meeting on Monday. “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.

Peter Bone, a Conservative member of parliament who sits on the backbenches, is one of several Tories who have indicated that they might side with Johnson and vote against the agreement. Bone expressed his dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of the vote on the “Stormont brake,” stating that he was “pretty miffed” about it. 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.”

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“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.” 

Although the Windsor framework agreement signed last month has the support of the Labour Party, if the government must depend on opposition support, it will be a significant setback for Sunak’s leadership, despite the likely ease with which the government will win the division in the House of Commons.

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