Unionists in Northern Ireland will vote against the new Brexit rules

The agreement reached between the UK and the EU on new Brexit rules for Northern Ireland will not be ratified by the Northern Ireland Unionist Party. The party, which is represented in the House of Commons in London, announced on Monday that it would vote against the deal.

At the end of February, current British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that an agreement had been reached on a revised protocol for Northern Ireland after difficult negotiations. The agreement should facilitate trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

Sunak wants the deal approved in a vote in Parliament on Wednesday. The Democratic Unionist Union ruled on Monday that it would vote against the deal. The party said on Twitter that despite real progress, “fundamental issues, namely the enforcement of EU law” had not been addressed in Northern Ireland.

Party leader Geoffrey Donaldson told the BBC that the decision was taken unanimously. There remain significant concerns that require further clarification, rework, and change.

The party refers to, among other things, a “storm brake”, a kind of emergency brake with which the Northern Ireland Parliament can block the implementation of new EU legislation. But this arrangement is “not designed for, and therefore cannot be applied to, EU legislation already in force and has not been authorized”.

Sunak can get the text through parliament without the support of the DUP, but then one of the main aims of the agreement is ignored. Unionists had been blocking the formation of a government in Northern Ireland for months, in protest at the previous arrangement.

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Amber Webster

 "Freelance zombie fanatic. Devoted web advocate. Analyst. Writer. Coffee fanatic. Travelaholic. Proud food aficionado."

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