Tory civil war risk over EU protocol deal if Sunak surrenders power…
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Rishi Sunak faces a Tory “civil war” if he strikes a Brexit deal on Northern Ireland that still gives power to European judges. Conservative backbenchers issued the warning after reports the European Court of Justice would still have a role in policing new customs rules in the region.
The Tory European Research Group said allowing the bloc’s judges to continue to rule on disputes would intensify calls for Boris Johnson to return as Tory leader.
A source said: “That is one way to bring the Boris faction, the Reform Party and the civil war within the party back into play.”
The DUP is refusing to take its seats in the Stormont until reforms are made to end the problems caused by the Northern Ireland protocol, which set out post-Brexit trading rules for the area.
Ex-Brexit minister David Jones said it is “amazingly unlikely” that a deal that continues to give a role to European judges in policing the protocol would be acceptable to the Unionist party or Conservative Brexiteers.
Mr Jones said reports about the possibility of a deal were a “weather balloon” floated by the Government and warned that “it will get shot down”.
The Tory MP said that if the deal involves a continued role for the ECJ in policing the protocol, then it “doesn’t get to grips with the principal issue”.
He said there would be a “big chunk of backbenchers” who would be opposed to such a deal, adding: “I can’t conceive it’s going to be acceptable to unionists in Northern Ireland and it will therefore be a futile exercise”.
DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr said a deal would not be acceptable to the party unless there was no role for the ECJ in policing the protocol.
He warned: “The laws of the United Kingdom must be sacrosanct.”
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