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Sunak's Brexit deal sails through Commons as Tory rebellion fizzles out

Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal comfortably cleared its first hurdle in the Commons on Wednesday after a major Tory rebellion failed to materialise.

Downing Street reacted with delight after Eurosceptic opposition to the agreement fizzled out despite being led by three former Conservative leaders.

The European Research Group had hoped to rally at least 34 backbenchers, which would have left the Prime Minister relying on Labour votes.

But in the end only 22 cast their ballots against the deal in the Commons, including former prime ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.

The result still marked the biggest rebellion of Mr Sunak’s premiership, with senior Eurosceptics telling The Telegraph they will carry on the fight.

Rishi Sunak - PA
Rishi Sunak - PA

Brexiteer MPs believe No 10 will have to hold up to a dozen more votes to pass the different parts of the Windsor agreement through the Commons.

They also pointed to the fact that 48 Tories abstained or did not register a vote, most of them Eurosceptics, as a sign of dissatisfaction with the deal.

But a government spokesman hailed its approval as a “turning point” and said it would end the “ratchet effect” of new EU laws being forced on Northern Ireland.

The agreement was always guaranteed to pass the Commons because Labour had pledged to support it, saying to do so was in the national interest.

But the result meant Downing Street avoided having to rely on opposition votes to get it through Parliament, which would have further angered Tory backbenchers, and undermined the Prime Minister's authority.

Whilst the result may have proved a relief, some of the high-profile figures who rebelled against a three-line whip to oppose the deal will prove a worry for Mr Sunak.

Mr Johnson had made an early morning intervention by revealing to the Telegraph that he planned to vote against the deal.
He described it as “not acceptable” arguing it would shackle Northern Ireland to the EU and prevent the rest of the UK from ditching Brussels rules.

He said that the Prime Minister should have pressed ahead with legislation to unilaterally rip up border checks and override European law in the province.

A source close to Ms Truss said she felt the pact “does not satisfactorily resolve” the problem and “almost fatally impinges on the UK’s ability to diverge from EU rules”.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, another former Tory leader, plus ex-Cabinet ministers Priti Patel, Simon Clarke, Jake Berry and Jacob Rees-Mogg also joined the rebels.

High-profile Eurosceptics including Nadine Dorries, a former culture secretary, and Greg Smith, the MP for Buckingham, did not vote after publicly criticising the pact.

Once abstentions and absentees were accounted for, the Government came within 11 votes of having to rely on opposition support to pass the agreement.

Writing for The Telegraph, Ms Patel said she had voted against the Windsor Framework because it “does not represent a good deal for the UK or for Northern Ireland”.

“The changes the Government and the EU are talking up are little more than a thin veneer that when scratched exposes the rotten wood of continued EU control over our territory,” she warned.

MPs voted on a Statutory Instrument (SI) to approve the Stormont Brake, a part of the overall agreement that will allow Belfast to block new EU laws.

Downing Street will have to bring forward further measures to enact other aspects of the deal, such as the "green lane" for goods, in the coming weeks.

A senior member of the ERG warned ministers the rebellion was not over and said the group would keep up its staunch opposition to the whole Windsor pact.

“The very high number of abstentions today, means that around a third of the Tory backbenches did not support the Stormont Brake,” they told The Telegraph.

“As there are likely to be multiple further SIs still needed to implement the wider Windsor Framework, potentially even in double-figures, there is going to be a lot more discussion about all this in Parliament over the next few months.”

DUP still against deal

Continued opposition is likely to be fuelled by Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP leader, insisting his party would not return to Stormont following the vote.

He said that Unionists wanted to end their year-long boycott of the assembly, telling the Commons: “That is where we want to get to, but we have to get it right.”

Downing Street was boosted ahead of the vote by support from senior Eurosceptics including John Baron and Ranil Jayawardena, two former Brexit "Spartans".

Andrea Leadsom, a prominent Leave campaigner, described it as “a superb deal” that previous prime ministers would have “bitten the EU’s arms off” for.

Michael Fabricant, the MP for Lichfield, summed up the mood of many Tories by describing the pact as imperfect but “probably the best we could ever achieve”.

Sir Geoffrey Cox KC, a former attorney general, suggested MPs should bank the deal and continue to push ministers to secure further improvements from Brussels.

“Why would we not at least agree to an improvement, even if we say at the same time it is not the last and final word?” he told the Commons.

“I commend most strongly the virtues and merits of this important and real staging post on the pathway to what I hope eventually would be a final settlement.”

'A massive step forward'

During a 90-minute debate Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland Secretary, said the agreement was “a massive step forward” that “I never thought would be achievable”.

He insisted it would “restore practical sovereignty to the UK as a whole” and largely end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the Province.

But he was confronted by Tory backbenchers who accused the Government of “overselling” the benefits of the deal, especially on the Stormont Brake.

The mechanism will allow the Belfast assembly to object to the imposition of new EU laws, though ultimately No 10 will decide whether to block them.

Conservative Eurosceptics fear that ministers will never be prepared to wield the veto because they will not want to risk possible trade reprisals from Brussels.

“It is a brake with no brake pads,” said Mark Francois, the chairman of the ERG. “I’m afraid the Government have completely oversold it.”

Mr Heaton-Harris insisted that the threshold the Government must meet for refusing to pull the brake when asked to by Stormont had been set “exceptionally high”.

Tory in-fighting

The debate came after a civil war erupted within the Tory party over whether to back the deal, with senior figures publicly laying into each other.

Steve Baker, the Northern Ireland minister, accused Mr Johnson of acting like a “pound shop Nigel Farage” by opposing the pact as temperatures spiked.

Mr Rees-Mogg, a close ally of the former prime minister, hit back that he would take such an insult “as a great compliment”.

Meanwhile, David Davis, a former Brexit secretary, said Ms Truss’s rejection of the deal was hypocritical as it was fixing the Protocol which she supported.

“She voted for Theresa May's deal, at Chequers, which is what created the problem that Rishi Sunak is now solving,” he said.

Mr Baker said both ex-premiers “are better than this” and suggested they had misrepresented what the Protocol Bill would have achieved.

The former ERG chairman was booted out of one of the organisation’s WhatsApp’s groups after making the remarks to broadcasters.


05:04 PM

That is all for today...

Thank you for joining me for today's Brexit politics blog.

You can follow all of the latest news on Boris Johnson's appearance in front of the Privileges Committee here on the blog being run by my colleague Dominic Penna.

I will be back early tomorrow morning to guide you through the fallout from what has been a truly massive day in Westminster.


04:57 PM

Rishi Sunak publishes tax return

Rishi Sunak paid £432,493 in tax in the 2021/22 financial year, according to a copy of his tax return which has just been published by Downing Street.

The document covers a four year period from 2019 until 2022.

In 2021/22 Mr Sunak paid £120,604 in income tax and £325,826 in UK capital gains tax.

The publication of the Prime Minister's tax return fulfills a pledge he made during last summer's Tory leadership campaign.


04:37 PM

Sinn Fein urges DUP to end Stormont 'boycott'

Sinn Fein Stormont leader Michelle O’Neill has urged the DUP to end its "boycott" and return to powersharing arrangements in Northern Ireland.

She tweeted: "Sinn Féin is ready to form an Executive today & deliver for workers and families. The public have been punished for long enough by this futile and shameful DUP boycott.

"The public want and deserve an Executive to support them through cost of living, to help fix the Health Service, to build a better future for all our people."


04:16 PM

Analysis: Rishi Sunak will be delighted by today's vote but his Brexit battles are far from over

Rishi Sunak will be delighted by today's result on his Brexit deal.

The Prime Minister secured a crushing victory in the House of Commons which will allow him to forge ahead with the Windsor Framework which will now be formally adopted at a UK-EU meeting in London on Friday.

There were big names in the Tory rebellion but the number of Conservative MPs who voted against the Government was lower than had been predicted by some Brexiteers and nowhere near enough to derail the PM's plans.

However, while Mr Sunak may well enjoy today's win he will certainly be aware that his Brexit battles are far from over.

As things stand powersharing is not going to be restored at Stormont any time soon and until the premier comes up with an answer on that he will not be able to truly close the book on Brexit.

Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, addresses the House of Commons during PMQs today - Roger Harris/UK Parliament
Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, addresses the House of Commons during PMQs today - Roger Harris/UK Parliament

03:58 PM

Government 'pleased' MPs have 'endorsed' Windsor Framework

The Government has welcomed the vote by MPs to back Rishi Sunak's new Brexit deal.

A Government spokesman said: "We are pleased the House of Commons has endorsed the Windsor Framework and agreed the legislation to enact the Stormont brake – the most significant part of the Windsor Framework.

"The Stormont brake puts power back into the hands of Stormont and Westminster, ending the automatic alignment and ratchet effect of new EU law in Northern Ireland that would exist without it.

"The Windsor Framework is a turning point for the people of Northern Ireland, fixing the problems with the old protocol to ensure the smooth flow of internal UK trade, safeguard NI’s place in the Union and address the democratic deficit."


03:40 PM

Northern Ireland Secretary welcomes MPs backing Windsor Framework

Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland Secretary, said the Windsor Framework is the "best deal" for Northern Ireland as he welcomed the result of today's vote in the House of Commons.

He said: "I welcome Parliament voting today to support the Windsor Framework and approve the statutory instrument related to the Stormont brake.

"This measure lies at the very heart of the Windsor Framework, which offers the best deal for Northern Ireland, safeguarding its place in the Union and addressing the democratic deficit.

"By voting in favour of the Stormont brake, we have voted to ensure that the people of Northern Ireland, through a restored Executive, will have full democratic input to the laws that apply to them.

"The democratic safeguard provided by the Stormont brake, as well as the other new arrangements in the Windsor Framework, support stability and prosperity in Northern Ireland, and I am pleased to see progress made today in the House."


03:24 PM

280 Tory MPs backed Brexit deal while 48 did not vote

A total of 280 Tory MPs voted in favour of Rishi Sunak's Brexit deal while the deal was also backed by 160 Labour MPs, 43 SNP MPs and 13 Liberal Democrat MPs, according to a division list published by the House of Commons.

No vote was recorded for 48 Conservative MPs, although this does not automatically equate to an abstention for each MP as they may have received permission to miss a vote.


03:07 PM

22 Tory MPs voted against Rishi Sunak's deal

A total of 22 Tory MPs voted against Rishi Sunak's Brexit deal in the House of Commons this afternoon, according to an official division list.

Six DUP MPs voted against while two DUP MPs acted as tellers for the "noes". Independent MP Andrew Bridgen also voted against, making 29 in total.

The 22 Tory MPs who rebelled are:

  1. Adam Afriyie

  2. Jake Berry

  3. Peter Bone

  4. Bill Cash

  5. Christopher Chope

  6. Simon Clarke

  7. Richard Drax

  8. James Duddridge

  9. Iain Duncan Smith

  10. Mark Francois

  11. Jonathan Gullis

  12. Adam Holloway

  13. Andrea Jenkyns

  14. Boris Johnson

  15. David Jones

  16. Danny Kruger

  17. Craig Mackinlay

  18. Matthew Offord

  19. Priti Patel

  20. John Redwood

  21. Jacob Rees-Mogg

  22. Liz Truss


02:53 PM

Lib Dems: 'Another day and another Conservative Party rebellion'

The Liberal Democrats said the nation has "had enough of this chaos" after "another Conservative Party rebellion".

Layla Moran, the party's foreign affairs spokesperson, said: "Another day and another Conservative party rebellion. We've all had enough of this chaos.

"Conservative MPs are like mutinous pirates who no longer care what their captain says. After today's latest debacle, it is time they abandoned ship and made way for serious politicians.

"The Liberal Democrats voted in the national interest, to ensure greater stability and certainty in Northern Ireland. We want to fix the UK's broken relationship with Europe."


02:41 PM

MPs vote overwhelmingly in favour of Rishi Sunak's new Brexit deal

MPs have overwhelmingly backed Rishi Sunak’s new Brexit deal as the Prime Minister suffered a smaller than expected Tory rebellion.

MPs voted by 515 to 29 in favour of the Windsor Framework.

There are eight DUP MPs which suggests 21 Tory MPs are likely to have voted against the deal.

The full division list showing how each MP voted will be published shortly.


02:25 PM

Voting starts on Rishi Sunak's Brexit deal

The debate on Rishi Sunak's Brexit deal has now finished and MPs are now voting.

We should have the result in about 15 minutes' time.


02:19 PM

Sir Geoffrey Cox: Brexit deal represents 'material and real progress'

Sir Geoffrey Cox, the Tory former attorney general, told the House of Commons: "I do not think that we can characterise this as the last word that will ever be spoken on this subject but it does represent material and real progress."

Sir Geoffrey, who was in post for much of Theresa May's original negotiations with the EU, said that if Brussels had shown the same "flexibility" on Brexit a few years ago as it does now then "history might have turned out rather differently".


02:13 PM

Hilary Benn: EU has 'moved a long way' on Brexit border rules

Hilary Benn, the former chairman of the Brexit Select Committee, said he was "pleasantly surprised" when he first read the Windsor Framework.

He said it was "to the great credit of the DUP that they have achieved so much in this agreement".

Mr Benn said that the "EU has had to move a long way" and he believes the framework is a "very sensible proposal".


02:07 PM

DUP 'not prepared to accept the undermining of Northern Ireland's place within the United Kingdom'

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said it was important for the Government to "take stock of where we are now".

He told the House of Commons: "Surely our shared objective here... is to see the political institutions in Northern Ireland restored and therefore we need to continue engaging with the Government to get this right.

"My party is committed to doing that. We are committed to continue working with the Secretary of State, working with the Prime Minister and that has to be about delivering on the commitment given to protect Northern Ireland's place within the internal market of the United Kingdom."

Sir Jeffrey said that the DUP will "continue to work intensively to solve these issues" and that progress made up to this point has been because the party was "not prepared to accept the undermining of Northern Ireland's place within the union of the United Kingdom".


01:56 PM

DUP leader: Windsor Framework does not address 'fundamental problem'

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the leader of the DUP, is now addressing the House of Commons.

He said: "Fundamentally for us the problem with the Northern Ireland Protocol is the continued application of EU law in Northern Ireland in circumstances where it covers all manufacturing of goods in Northern Ireland regardless of whether those goods are being sold in the United Kingdom or sold to the European Union."

Sir Jeffrey said that "whilst undoubtedly improvements have been made we have not yet fully addressed this fundamental problem which is the continued application of EU law for the manufacturing of all goods in Northern Ireland".


01:50 PM

Analysis: Now no doubt that the Windsor Framework will clear the Commons

There is now no doubt that the Windsor Framework will clear the House of Commons this afternoon after Labour and the SNP said they will back the deal.

The only question now facing Rishi Sunak is how big the Tory revolt will be and whether the Prime Minister can get the deal through based purely on Conservative votes.


01:46 PM

Senior Tory Brexiteer: Northern Ireland still 'subjugated' to EU

Sir William Cash, the Tory chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, said the UK has left the European Union but people in Northern Ireland are still "subjugated" to laws made in Brussels.

He told the House of Commons: "We have left the EU... and yet all laws passed before we left in relation to the single market still apply to and subjugate the people of Northern Ireland to the EU but not to the rest of the UK.

"There is no such thing as Northern Ireland sovereignty, there is only constitutional Westminster sovereignty and I am afraid I do not recognise the expression of practical sovereignty used by the SOS in this debate..."


01:40 PM

SNP to vote in favour of Rishi Sunak's Windsor Framework

Richard Thomson, the SNP's Northern Ireland spokesman, told the House of Commons that his party's MPs will vote in favour of the Windsor Framework.

He said: "We will in fact be supporting this agreement. We welcome it and we will be voting in favour this evening."


01:36 PM

Labour: Brexit deal is 'not perfect' but is an 'improvement'

Peter Kyle, Labour's shadow Northern Ireland secretary, said the Windsor Framework is "not perfect" but is an "improvement" on the existing post-Brexit border rules in Northern Ireland.

Concluding his remarks in the House of Commons, Mr Kyle said: "While this deal is not perfect, it is an improvement so in the interests of Northern Ireland and the rest of our country we will be voting for it today."


01:34 PM

List of Tory rebels up to 14

The number of Tory MPs who have publicly confirmed they are voting against the Windsor Framework is now up to 14. Here is the list:

  1. Sir James Duddridge

  2. David Jones

  3. Boris Johnson

  4. Liz Truss

  5. Sir Iain Duncan Smith

  6. Priti Patel

  7. Sir John Redwood

  8. Andrea Jenkyns

  9. Peter Bone

  10. Mark Francois

  11. Simon Clarke

  12. Jacob Rees-Mogg

  13. Adam Holloway

  14. Craig Mackinlay


01:32 PM

Labour: Tories are 'riven with division'

Peter Kyle claimed the Tories are "riven with division" over Rishi Sunak's Windsor Framework.

Labour's shadow Northern Ireland Secretary told the House of Commons: "We are acting in the national interest, they are riven with division."


01:24 PM

Labour confirms it will vote for Windsor Framework

Peter Kyle, the shadow Northern Ireland secretary, has confirmed that Labour will vote for the Windsor Framework this afternoon.

He told the House of Commons: "[Sir Keir Starmer] said in January that any protocol deal struck between the UK Government and the EU would by definition mean real progress in mitigating the problems caused by the original deal that they negotiated.

"He pledged that in these circumstances Labour would support such a deal. It is a pledge that we will be honouring today."


01:21 PM

Northern Ireland Secretary urges MPs to back Windsor Framework

Chris Heaton-Harris closed his opening statement in the House of Commons by urging all MPs to vote for the Windsor Framework.

He said the new Stormont brake mechanism - which would allow the Northern Ireland Assembly to stop the roll out of new EU laws in certain specific circumstances - would prevent an "intolerable situation".

He said: "Without this measure Northern Ireland would continue to have full and automatic dynamic alignment with EU goods rules with no say for the Northern Ireland Assembly and no veto on amending or replacing those measures.

"That is an intolerable situation and I urge all [MPs] to vote to end that full and automatic dynamic alignment."


01:11 PM

Ex-Cabinet minister: Rishi Sunak has done 'great job' on Windsor Framework

Dame Andrea Leadsom, the Tory former Cabinet minister, praised the Windsor Framework and said Rishi Sunak and the Government had done a "great job".

Intervening on Chris Heaton-Harris in the House of Commons, Ms Leadsom said the deal "enables a huge opportunity in Northern Ireland not just to be a precious part of our United Kingdom but also to be the target of enormous amounts of foreign direct investment coming into Northern Ireland because it will have the advantage of being an integral part of the United Kingdom but having open access to EU markets as well".


01:05 PM

Sir John Redwood demands answers on EU law in Northern Ireland

Tory Brexiteer Sir John Redwood asked Chris Heaton-Harris: "Why do EU laws apply to businesses in Northern Ireland under this agreement that are not trading with the EU? How many EU laws apply and why don't we see a list of them?"

Mr Heaton-Harris would not be drawn on the details but said under the framework "less than three per cent" of EU law will apply to Northern Ireland.


01:01 PM

DUP MP accuses Government of 'shoving' Brexit deal through Commons

DUP MP Jim Shannon said in unionist circles the Windsor Framework is described as the "Windsor knot".

He said that it is "not a deal that enjoys or receives unionist support, indeed the Untied Kingdom gives the EU sovereignty over the courts and power over Northern Ireland".

Mr Shannon said the deal is being "shoved through the House by the Government". He questioned whether the full name of the Conservative and Unionist Party still applied to the Tories.

Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland Secretary, rejected the criticism. He said he was "very proud to be a unionist" and the framework is a "massive step forward".

He said: "I think people who know what they are talking about understand that this is a very, very good deal."


12:55 PM

Brexit debate is now underway

The debate on Rishi Sunak's Windsor Framework is now underway.

Mr Sunak is sat on the Government frontbench as Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland Secretary, introduces the deal at the despatch box.

Mr Heaton-Harris said that he hoped the framework would help to "bring an age of prosperity to Northern Ireland like we have never seen before".

Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland Secretary, and Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, are pictured in the House of Commons this afternoon - Getty Images
Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland Secretary, and Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, are pictured in the House of Commons this afternoon - Getty Images

12:47 PM

DUP leader: 'There is not a sustainable basis at this stage to enable us to restore Stormont'

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has said there is "not a sustainable basis at this stage to enable us to restore Stormont" as he confirmed the DUP will vote against the Windsor Framework this afternoon.

Sir Jeffrey's tweet leaves the door open to a return to powersharing in the future if problems with the new Brexit deal can be resolved.


12:43 PM

Brexit debate set to get underway

Prime Minister's Questions has now finished which means the Brexit debate on Rishi Sunak's Windsor Framework will start in about 10 minutes' time, after the Ten Minute Rule Motion has been completed.

The Ten Minute Rule Motion is a process by which individual MPs can bring forward their own draft laws.


12:33 PM

Priti Patel tells Rishi Sunak: Go back to the EU and get us a better deal

Priti Patel has urged Rishi Sunak to go back to the EU and "negotiate a better deal" than the Windsor Framework.

Writing for The Telegraph, the former home secretary said:

"By voting against the Windsor Framework, we can send a strong signal back to the EU and to the Government - just as we have done before when we were fighting to get the discredited Chequers deal chucked - to prompt them to get back round the table.

"We need the Prime Minister to negotiate a better deal that reflects our manifesto commitments, protects the democratic institutions of Northern Ireland and law-making powers of its politicians, and defends the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the United Kingdom."

You can read the piece in full here.


12:22 PM

Prime Minister says 'Windsor Framework' is a 'good deal'

Stephen Flynn, the SNP's leader in Westminster, asked Rishi Sunak: "What worries the Prime Minister most about Brexit right now?

"Is it the likely four per cent hit to UK productivity or is it three former Tory leaders planning to vote down his deal this afternoon?"

Mr Sunak said he believed his Windsor Framework is a "good deal".

He told the House of Commons: "The Windsor Framework represents a good deal for the people and families and businesses of Northern Ireland. It restores the balance of the Belfast Good Froiday Agreement and ensures Northern Ireland's place in our precious union."


12:14 PM

Rishi Sunak: People 'can't trust Labour to keep Britain safe'

Sir Keir Starmer told Rishi Sunak that "crime is out of control and people are paying the price" after 13 years of the Tories in power.

He asked the Prime Minister if he could tell the House of Commons the "charge rate for theft and burglary across the country".

Mr Sunak said that "since 2019 neighbourhood crime is down by 25 per cent". He also said of the Labour Party that people "can't trust them to keep Britain safe".

Sir Keir then told Mr Sunak: "The answer he didn't want to give... is four per cent of cases."


12:11 PM

Sir Keir Starmer accuses Tories of 'sheer negligence' towards police

Sir Keir Starmer accused the Government of showing "sheer negligence" towards the nation's police forces.

Addressing Rishi Sunak at PMQs, the Labour leader said: "On his watch rape charges are 1.6 per cent yet the Government still hasn't backed Labour's plan to have proper high quality rape and serious sexual offences units in every police force. Why not?"

Mr Sunak said: "What Louise Casey also says is that primary public accountability of the Met sits with the Mayor of London."

Sir Keir hit back and said people are "fed up the back teeth with a Government that never talkes responsibility and just tries to blame everyone else".


12:07 PM

PMQs underway

Sir Keir Starmer used his first question at PMQs to raise the Casey review into failings in the Metropolitan Police.

The Labour leader said he "accepts those findings in full" as he asked Rishi Sunak if he did.

Mr Sunak said he was "appalled" at the findings in the report and the Government has taken a "series of steps already" to improve the situation.

The Prime Minister said that the Government will work to ensure the "culture, standards and behaviour all improve".

He added: "It is imperative that the Met works hard to regain the trust of the people it is privileged to serve."


11:59 AM

Mark Francois: ERG's 'strong recommendation' Tory MPs vote against Brexit deal

Mark Francois, the chairman of the European Research Group, said its members had been given a "strong recommendation" to vote against the Brexit deal.

Speaking after the group's meeting this morning, Mr Francois said: "The senior officers recommended to the group that we should vote against the Statutory Instrument this afternoon. No one present spoke out against that, no one said that we should not.

"Ultimately the recommendation to the ERG, although of course it remains a decision for each individual, the strong recommendation was that we should vote against the SI.

"I think the fact that Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Iain Duncan Smith, three previous leaders of the Conservative Party, have all come out against the SI has certainly boosted the numbers. Whatever the numbers are I think it’s a shame that we face a situation where the Government have negotiated a deal that the DUP don’t feel able to support because fundamentally this is all about upholding the Belfast Good Friday Agreement which relies fundamentally on the principle of consent.

"The fact that the DUP have come out very firmly against it means that the deal really has not gone far enough. We would've been far better to have stuck to the NIP Bill and I think it’s a shame some people want to give away our best weapon in any subsequent negotiations with the EU.”


11:54 AM

Pictured: Rishi Sunak leaves No10 ahead of PMQs

Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, is pictured leaving No10 this morning ahead of PMQs - Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, is pictured leaving No10 this morning ahead of PMQs - Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

11:42 AM

European Research Group of Tory Brexiteers urges its members to vote against Brexit deal

The European Research Group of Eurosceptic Tory MPs is recommending its members vote against the Government on the Brexit deal this afternoon, group chairman Mark Francois has said.

More than 30 Tory MPs attended this morning's meeting of the ERG.


11:40 AM

SDLP announces it will support Windsor Framework

The SDLP has announced its intention to support the Windsor Framework. Leader Colum Eastwood said the party, which has two MPs in Westminster, supports the framework to achieve the return of the Stormont Assembly but still has concerns about the agreement.

"The SDLP has taken time to consider the terms of the Windsor Framework, the balance it strikes between Assembly scrutiny and the potential for abusive veto, but more importantly the impact of the new arrangements on the unique economic benefits offered by dual market access," he said.

"We continue to have serious concerns about the operation of the Stormont brake and we will be vigilant about its implementation, including the clear limits on the operation of a veto over amended internal market law.

"But overall the Windsor Framework provides a clear path back to devolved government in Northern Ireland."


11:29 AM

And then there were 12...

There are now 12 Tory MPs who have confirmed they will vote against Rishi Sunak's Windsor Framework.

They are:

  1. Sir James Duddridge

  2. David Jones

  3. Boris Johnson

  4. Liz Truss

  5. Sir Iain Duncan Smith

  6. Priti Patel

  7. Sir John Redwood

  8. Andrea Jenkyns

  9. Peter Bone

  10. Mark Francois

  11. Simon Clarke

  12. Jacob Rees-Mogg

You can view the list in full here.


11:22 AM

Jacob Rees-Mogg to vote against Brexit deal

More from Christopher Hope, The Telegraph's associate editor, who reports Jacob Rees-Mogg will vote against the Brexit deal this afternoon.

He reports:

Jacob Rees-Mogg will vote against the Windsor Framework, he has told me. "I will vote against today," the former Cabinet minister has texted me.


11:05 AM

Nigel Farage hits back at Steve Baker


11:02 AM

Tory revolt on Brexit deal could be 'north of 35'

Tory Brexiteers are increasingly bullish about the likely scale of the rebellion against the Windsor Framework this afternoon.

Rebels have told my colleague Christopher Hope that the revolt could be "north of 35" Tory MPs.

Such a number would put Rishi Sunak in the realm of having to rely on Labour votes to get his deal through.


10:55 AM

MPs to vote on Brexit deal at about 2.30pm

MPs are being given 90 minutes to debate Rishi Sunak's Windsor Framework in the House of Commons this afternoon.

The debate and subsequent vote are technically on the issue of the "Stormont brake" - a new mechanism in the framework which would stop new EU laws from being rolled out in Northern Ireland in very specific circumstances.

But No10 has made plain that today's vote will be viewed as the verdict of MPs on the deal as a whole.

There are no urgent questions or ministerial statements scheduled for today so the debate should start shortly after Prime Minister's Questions.

Assuming it is underway by 1pm, the vote should then take place at about 2.30pm.


10:50 AM

'It is no question of it going through on Labour votes'

Steve Baker was asked if he would be happy with the Windsor Framework clearing the House of Commons on the back of Labour votes.

The Northern Ireland minister told broadcasters: "It is no question of it going through on Labour votes. It will be going through because it is the right thing for Northern Ireland."


10:43 AM

Steve Baker takes aim at Boris Johnson and Liz Truss: 'They are both better than this'

Steve Baker, the Northern Ireland minister, said Boris Johnson and Liz Truss are "both better than this" as he criticised the former prime ministers for opposing the Windsor Framework.

Asked for his message to Mr Johnson and Ms Truss, Mr Baker told broadcasters: "I would say two things. First is that let’s not misrepresent what the Protocol Bill would do.

"The Protocol Bill would have put in place a red and a green channel for goods going to Northern Ireland but in using that Bill we would wreck our relations with the European Union and damage our standing internationally.

"That was a price we were willing to pay to get just the kind of arrangements we now have in the Windsor Framework.

"So really both of them should be backing the Windsor Framework today. What I would say is they are both better than this. We have reached this point thanks to Liz Truss setting the process in train and today’s measures are better of course than the protocol that Boris Johnson put in place, a protocol which he has spoken about and those things he said turned out not to be accurate."


10:34 AM

Steve Baker: Boris Johnson risks 'looking like a pound shop Nigel Farage'

Steve Baker, the Northern Ireland minister, has criticised Boris Johnson over his decision to vote against the Windsor Framework, claiming the ex-PM risks "looking like a pound shop Nigel Farage".

He told broadcasters: "He has got a choice. He can be remembered for the great acts of statecraft that he achieved or he can risk looking like a pound shop Nigel Farage and I hope he chooses to be remembered as a statesman."


10:27 AM

Which Tory MPs are voting against Rishi Sunak's Brexit deal?

There are currently 11 Tory MPs who have confirmed publicly that they will vote against the Windsor Framework this afternoon. They are:

  1. Sir James Duddridge

  2. David Jones

  3. Boris Johnson

  4. Liz Truss

  5. Sir Iain Duncan Smith

  6. Priti Patel

  7. Sir John Redwood

  8. Andrea Jenkyns

  9. Peter Bone

  10. Mark Francois

  11. Simon Clarke

You can view the list in detail here.


10:17 AM

Former Brexit secretary David Davis criticises Liz Truss


10:15 AM

Former Brexit minister says Government should 'renegotiate' Windsor Framework

David Jones, the deputy chairman of the European Research Group of Tory Brexiteers, said the Government needs to renegotiate the Windsor Framework with the EU.

The former Brexit minister told BBC Radio Ulster: "We need something better and we think that the Government should go away, renegotiate the arrangements with the European Union and then come back. This particular proposal doesn’t have the desired effect.

"In terms of adopting a gradualist approach, I think that that would be very sensible if the EU would be likely to reciprocate, but given that, in this arrangement that we’re going to be discussing in the Commons today, they haven’t given very much at all I think it’s extremely unlikely that a gradualist approach will work."


10:08 AM

Senior Tory MP warns Rishi Sunak opposition to Brexit deal is growing

Mark Francois conceded the Windsor Framework will clear the House of Commons this afternoon despite a Tory revolt.

But he warned Rishi Sunak that opposition to the new Brexit deal is only growing.

He told TalkTV: "We know that ultimately the Government will win today because the Labour Party are supporting them. But this thing is growing in terms of its opposition as we speak.

"What is really fundamental, whatever the result is in the Commons this afternoon, is that the DUP has said no. The whole point of this was to come up with a deal to underpin and support the Good Friday Agreement, one the DUP could support and then return to powersharing at Stormont."


10:05 AM

Mark Francois: Windsor Framework has been 'massively overspun' by the Government

Parts of the Government have "massively overspun" the Windsor Framework, the chairman of the European Research Group of Tory Brexiteer MPs has said.

Asked if he believed Rishi Sunak had "lied" about the deal, Mark Francois told TalkTV: "I am not going to call the Prime Minister a liar. I don't think he is a liar. But I think some people around him have massively overspun what this deal actually represents."

He added: "As you know in life there is an old saying: Always read the small print."


09:55 AM

ERG chairman to vote against Brexit deal

Mark Francois, the chairman of the European Research Group of Tory Brexiteers, has announced that he will vote against Rishi Sunak's Brexit deal this afternoon.

He told TalkTV: "I personally will vote against it although I can’t speak for the whole of the group because we haven't had our meeting yet, just to be clear.

"But I as chairman of the group will vote against it."


09:53 AM

Priti Patel explains why she is voting against Windsor Framework

Priti Patel has now issued a fuller statement to The Telegraph setting out why she is rebelling over the Windsor Framework.

The former home secretary said: "The Stormont Brake does not change the fact that there are areas of law and decision-making where the democratic will of Northern Ireland is fettered by the EU.

"Northern Ireland is not able to reject EU laws that are already in place and where current laws are acting against the interests of Northern Ireland and the United Kingdon, the Northern Ireland Assembly continues to be powerless to act."


09:45 AM

Windsor Framework 'fixes the problems' with Northern Ireland Protocol, insists Government

The Windsor Framework "fixes the problems" with the Northern Ireland Protocol and goes "well beyond what had been on the table before", according to a Government source who defended the PM's deal amid the growing Tory revolt.

The source said: "We believe this is the best deal for Northern Ireland which ensures the smooth flow of internal UK trade, safeguards NI’s place in the Union and addresses the democratic deficit.

"In negotiations the PM secured significant concessions with this deal going well beyond what had been on the table before. It goes much further than the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill and fixes the problems with the old Protocol.

"Without the Windsor Framework, the legal default in domestic and international law is automatic alignment to EU standards and rules with no say in Northern Ireland."


09:39 AM

Rishi Sunak braces for biggest Tory revolt of his premiership

Rishi Sunak is bracing for the biggest Tory rebellion of his premiership as the revolt over his Windsor Framework Brexit deal continues to grow.

Mr Sunak has managed to avoid Tory rebellions in the House of Commons on contentious issues in the past by striking compromises to get his MPs back on side before the crunch point.

But there does not appear to be a way out for the Prime Minister ahead of this afternoon's vote, with more and more Tory backbenchers going public with their opposition.

No10 will be determined not to have to rely on opposition votes to get the deal through but with a working majority of 66, Downing Street has limited room for manoeuvre.

The numbers mean that Mr Sunak will need to contain any Tory rebellion to fewer than 34 of his own backbenchers if he is to pass the deal under purely Tory steam.


09:24 AM

Simon Clarke to vote against the Brexit deal

Simon Clarke, the Tory former Cabinet minister, has told The Telegraph that he will vote against Rishi Sunak's Windsor Framework this afternoon.


09:21 AM

Boris Johnson: Windsor Framework is 'not acceptable'

Why is Boris Johnson going to vote against Rishi Sunak's Brexit deal? The former prime minister set out his reasoning in a statement to The Telegraph.

Mr 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.

Boris Johnson, the former prime minister, is pictured going for a morning run in central London today - Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph
Boris Johnson, the former prime minister, is pictured going for a morning run in central London today - Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph

"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."

You can read the full exclusive story here.


09:16 AM

Tory MP 'pretty miffed' by Government's handling of Brexit vote

Peter Bone, a Tory former minister, said he was "pretty miffed" about the Government’s approach to this afternoon's debate and vote on Rishi Sunak's Brexit deal.

Appearing on Sky News, he signalled that he will join former prime minister Boris Johnson in voting against Mr Sunak’s Windsor Framework.

"We were promised a full debate on the Windsor Framework," Mr Bone, who was deputy leader of the House Commons for three months last year, said.

"If I get a question at PMQs I’m going to ask the Prime Minister what happened to our wider vote? 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 meetings this morning, but if I had to vote at this moment in time, I should vote against."


09:14 AM

'Quite a lot' of Tory Brexiteers will vote against Rishi Sunak's Windsor Framework, says Sir John Redwood

Sir John Redwood, a former minister who will vote against Rishi Sunak's Brexit deal this afternoon, said he believed "quite a lot" of his Tory colleagues will do the same.

Asked to put a number on the Tory rebellion, Sir John told Times Radio: "Well, I have no idea. The ERG will have a meeting this morning when we will discuss it with each other and see whether we all agree or not.

"The ERG doesn’t run a whip. There is only one whip for the Conservative Party, the official Conservative whip.

"On this occasion quite a lot of Conservatives who want Brexit will not be able to follow the Conservative whip."


09:04 AM

Priti Patel to vote against Windsor Framework

More from Christopher Hope:

Former home secretary Priti Patel will vote against the Windsor Framework this afternoon.

Ms Patel tells me: "I will not be buying shares on the Government's smoke and mirrors on Windsor."

The rebellion against Rishi Sunak's Brexit deal is now collecting senior Tories, who will provide cover for other Conservative MPs to join them.


09:04 AM

Sir Iain Duncan Smith to vote against PM's Brexit deal

Christopher Hope, The Telegraph's associate editor, has discovered Sir Iain Duncan Smith will vote against the Windsor Framework this afternoon. He writes:

Former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith will vote against the Windsor Framework in the key vote this afternoon, I can disclose, joining another Tory leader Boris Johnson in the "no" lobby.

The rebellion is now growing. Brexiteer MPs tell me that the number of Tory MPs voting against could be in the mid-20s, which could be enough to require Labour support to get it through.


09:03 AM

Liz Truss to vote against Rishi Sunak's Brexit deal

Liz Truss will vote against Rishi Sunak’s new Brexit deal for Northern Ireland this afternoon, a source close to the former prime minister has said.