Former British Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss will vote in the House of Commons on Wednesday against an agreement on Brexit rules for Northern Ireland. Johnson told The Telegraph on Wednesday that the new deal was “unacceptable”.
“The proposed measures will mean that Northern Ireland remains stuck in the EU legal system and removed from the UK,” Johnson said. Or the whole United Kingdom will not be able to enjoy Brexit. “This is unacceptable,” said the former Conservative leader.
His successor, Liz Truss, will also vote against the agreement. The reason given is that the revised Northern Ireland Protocol would have a “near-fatal” effect on the UK’s ability to deviate from EU regulations.
Wednesday afternoon voting
The deal, which has been negotiated for years, will be decided by the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon. By voting against, both Johnson and Truss opposed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who also succeeded them as party leader. The new agreement should facilitate trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.
The Northern Ireland Protocol, originally negotiated in the aftermath of Brexit, provides for a customs border in the Irish Sea. This is intended to avoid border controls between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland in order to prevent the outbreak of old conflicts in the region. But the arrangement presents difficulties, for example when sending parcels or transporting pets.
Johnson himself signed the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is binding under international law, but quickly criticized it. Other Conservative MPs also plan to vote against the new agreement, which Sunak negotiated with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The government expects about twenty votes against from its ranks.
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