DUP MPs set to go against government in 'Stormont brake' vote this week

Mon 20 Mar 2023
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

irish border

The DUP and some Conservative MPs are expected to vote against the government when parts of the Windsor Framework are voted on in Parliament this week.

The DUP has been studying the UK’s new deal with the EU since it was announced by prime minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission vice president Ursula von der Leyen last month.

The framework intends to make post-Brexit trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland easier through the introduction of ‘green’ and ‘red lanes’ for goods entering the region.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, the DUP is set to vote against the ‘Stormont brake’ element of the agreement, which is seen as a proxy for a vote on the overall deal. The brake is the process through which Northern Irish politicians can veto the introduction of EU laws within the region.

No to ‘brake’

The party’s Westminster MPs are preparing to meet today to reach their joint position and are expected to vote against the government on Wednesday, although Downing Street hopes they can be persuaded to abstain, PoliticsHome understands.

Senior DUP MP Ian Paisley has already said he will vote against the government, reports RTE.

ERG report

A critical report from the European Research Group (ERG) is also expected to claim that the text of the deal would stop the UK from diverging from the EU because it would result in new barriers between Britain and Northern Ireland.

According to the Times, the ERG report is due to be published tomorrow and will be circulated to Tory MPs before a vote on the brake on Wednesday.

Insufficient vote

There is also anger among ERG MPs at ministers for only so far introducing a vote on a statutory instrument to implement the Stormont brake rather than giving MPs a say on the framework as a whole.

Peter Bone, the former deputy Commons leader, told the Guardian he was “very unhappy” about the statutory instrument vote being treated as MPs’ one chance to have a say on the Windsor Framework.

Likely to pass

Downing Street has warned both the DUP and ERG that they will go ahead with pushing through the wider deal with or without their support, reports the Telegraph.

Despite opposition from both groups, the government is likely to get its way as Labour has said it will provide its support.