Sunak’s Windsor Framework Deal Passes First Congressional Hurdle


A new post-Brexit Northern Ireland trade deal has cleared its first parliamentary hurdle after MPs voted in favor.

Despite opposition from some Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), 515 politicians voted in favor of implementing the new Windsor Framework ‘Stormont brake’, with 29 reaching a deal between the UK and the EU I objected to the mechanism I did.

In total, 22 Conservatives revolted and voted against Stormont’s braking rule.

They included former party leader Sir Jake Berry, former cabinet minister Simon Clarke, and former prime ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.

Six DUP MPs and Independent MP Andrew Bridgen also opposed the regulation.

Ahead of Wednesday afternoon’s vote, the European Study Group (ERG) of Tory lawmakers said it was “strongly encouraging” its members to oppose the regulation.

Labor voted unanimously in favor of the Windsor Framework Mechanism. This will allow the minority members of the Northern Ireland Parliament in Stormont to formally express their concerns about the imposition of new EU legislation in Northern Ireland. Referrals in the region.

Welcoming the result, Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton Harris said Stormont’s brakes were at “the very heart” of a new deal that would offer the province the “best”.

“By voting in favor of Stormont Brake, we voted to ensure that the people of Northern Ireland, through a restored executive branch, are fully democratically informed of the laws that apply to them,” he said. said.

“The democratic safeguards provided by Storm Brake and other new arrangements in the Windsor Framework support stability and prosperity in Northern Ireland and I am pleased to see the progress made in the House of Commons today.”

“Windsor Knot”

Prior to the key vote, DUP politicians vehemently criticized the Windsor Framework mechanism, with one calling it a “Stormont fake”.

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson told the House of Commons:

“It should be rejected by this House of Commons.

DUP MP Jim Shannon called the Windsor Framework “imposed” through Parliament and questioned the Conservative Party’s commitment to unions.

He called the deal the “Windsor Knot” and added that “the UK will give the EU sovereignty over the courts and power over Northern Ireland”.

There were also clashes on the Tory bench as Chris Clarkson accused fellow Conservatives of being “pathologically in denial of reality”.

He previously told the veteran euroskeptic Bill that the legislation enacted in the EU “applies and subjects the people of Northern Ireland to the EU, but not to the rest of the UK”. I was referring to Lord Cash (Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee).

Conservative MP John Barron said the new framework would not only “restore the balance in the Belfast Accord” but would also “bring much more prosperity to the state through inward investment, and greater prosperity would help most situations”. Stated.

Former Conservative Minister Mark Francois, who chairs the ERG, has called on the Northern Ireland Commissioner to recognize that Stormont’s brake is a “path to arbitration” rather than a “veto”.

However, former Conservative Cabinet Minister Dame Andrea Leadsom said the deal would be a “huge opportunity” for Northern Ireland to “be the target of a huge amount of foreign direct investment” and bring “the advantage of being an integral part of the UK”. ” praised.

Former Northern Ireland Conservative Party Secretary Julian Smith also expressed support for the Windsor Framework.

He told MPs, “If we can bank the gains from this deal and ensure a stable power-sharing over the long term, we will have the overwhelming power to ensure Northern Ireland remains an integral part of the United Kingdom.” We believe we can expect strong support for decades to come.”

Sammy Wilson MP
MP Sammy Wilson, Brexit spokesperson for the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), speaks to the media after the DUP’s annual party convention in Belfast, Northern Ireland, 24 November 2018. (Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters)

DUP Blockade

In a statement released to the media after the vote, a government spokesperson welcomed Congress’ support for Stormont brakes.

“We are pleased that the House of Representatives has endorsed the Windsor Framework and agreed to legislation establishing the Stormont Brake, the most important part of the Windsor Framework,” the statement read.

“Stormont’s brake puts power back into the hands of Stormont and Westminster, ending the automatic adjustment and ratcheting effect of new EU legislation in Northern Ireland that otherwise would have existed.”

A spokesperson said the Windsor Framework was a “turning point for the people of Northern Ireland” and “ensures the smooth flow of trade within the UK, safeguards NI’s position in unions and addresses democratic shortcomings”. added.

Wednesday’s vote is the first step towards realizing Prime Minister Lissinak’s newly negotiated EU deal despite opposition from Northern Ireland’s largest trade union party, the DUP.

Led by Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, the party is now protesting the terms of the post-Brexit Northern Ireland Protocol to prevent the formation of a government in Northern Ireland.

Addressing the Commons on Wednesday afternoon, Lord Geoffrey reiterated that his party would not commit to “restoring the political system”.

He told MPs: It doesn’t exist at the moment. “

The DUP leader said his party will continue to “work intensively to resolve these issues… What has already been achieved is readiness to accept Northern Ireland’s weakened position within the British Union. I know it was done because I wasn’t able to.”

In response, incoming Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill called for an end to the “shameful” DUP boycott and the immediate reinstatement of senior officials.

Mr O’Neill said Wednesday that “responsibility rests with the British and Irish governments and all political parties, especially the DUP”.

“It’s time to move forward. We need to see what Congress and our executives are doing now to address the problem of our health services and provide for businesses, workers and families.

Vice President Sinn Fein added that Northern Ireland now has “unprecedented economic opportunities” to strengthen its economy and “create more and better jobs”.

“Further blocking of executive formation will only deepen the turmoil caused by Brexit and discourage international investors,” she added.

“Neither the people nor the economy can wait.

remove economic barriers

The Northern Ireland Protocol was designed to prevent the strengthening of Ireland’s land borders, but it shifted regulations and customs inspections to the Irish Sea, creating economic barriers to the movement of goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. .

The newly negotiated Windsor Framework aims to significantly reduce checks against these economic barriers.

In a two-tier system, goods arriving in Northern Ireland from the UK pass through either the Green Lane or the Red Lane.

Goods that remain in Northern Ireland pass through the Green Lane, where paperwork and checks are discarded, while goods that may be destined for the EU pass through the Red Lane, still subject to checks.

The ban on certain products and medicines entering Northern Ireland from the UK will also be lifted, leaving states no longer required to comply with specific EU regulations.

The UK and EU have agreed to this framework as a way to cut down on the red tape created by the Protocol.

PA Media contributed to this report.