New Brexit deal is delayed as Rishi Sunak fights to win over Conservative MPs and the DUP by reassuring them it will not leave Northern Ireland under the EU’s control
- The Prime Minister had hoped to unveil the new agreement with the EU this week
- A source said it was almost certain that negotiations would slip into next week
Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal has hit delays as he tries to reassure Tory MPs and the DUP that it will not leave Northern Ireland under the control of Brussels.
The Prime Minister had hoped to unveil the new agreement with the EU this week after flying to Northern Ireland to brief political leaders last Friday.
But a Government source said there was now a ‘99.9 per cent’ likelihood that negotiations would slip into next week as the PM tries to calm a backlash by the DUP and his own MPs.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman last night warned the PM she would not back any deal that involved ‘selling out on Northern Ireland’.
Mrs Braverman played down the prospect she could resign, and said she believed Mr Sunak shares her objectives.
The Prime Minister had hoped to unveil the new agreement with the EU this week after flying to Northern Ireland to brief political leaders last Friday
Mrs Braverman (pictured) played down the prospect she could resign, and said she believed Mr Sunak shares her objectives
But she told GB News: ‘I’ve taken a very forthright position in the past because I’ve found the terms of previous agreements intolerable.
‘I don’t support selling out on Northern Ireland and allowing the EU a foothold in the United Kingdom.’
The PM’s plans are expected to end EU checks on most British goods sent to Northern Ireland and restore Westminster’s right to set tax policy in the Province, which was effectively still left in the EU’s single market after Brexit in order to prevent a hard border with Northern Ireland. But Northern Ireland is still expected to be subject to some EU trade laws, over which it currently has no say.
During clashes in the Commons yesterday, the PM insisted he would be ‘resolute’ in defence of the UK’s interests.
He told MPs: ‘I am a Conservative, a Brexiteer and a Unionist, and any agreement that we reach needs to tick all three boxes.
‘It needs to ensure sovereignty for Northern Ireland, to safeguard Northern Ireland’s place in our union, and it needs to find practical solutions to the problems faced by people and businesses.
‘I will be resolute in fighting for what is best for Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom.’
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson welcomed the PM’s initiative but warned that any new deal must not involve ‘tinkering around the edges’
But, in an ominous sign, DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson warned there would have to be significant changes to the Brexit treaty with the EU, including ending the ‘unacceptable’ situation that leaves Northern Ireland governed by EU trade laws it has no say over.
Sir Jeffrey welcomed the PM’s initiative but warned that any new deal must not involve ‘tinkering around the edges’.
Former Brexit minister Lord Frost said: ‘We have learned we can’t rely on EU commitments that aren’t tied down or rest on good faith or the EU’s acting reasonably. They need to be legally clear and enforceable. If they aren’t, we will be back here again before too long.’
Source: Read Full Article