March 22, 2023 08:59 GMT
Backbench Con Rebellion On Windsor Framework Grows; Sunak May Need Lab Votes
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The backbench Brexiteer Conservative rebellion against PM Rishi Sunak's 'Windsor framework' appears to be growing, with a number of high-profile figures - including two former prime ministers - announcing that they will not be supporting the gov't in today's vote. Should the rebellion grow, especially in the wake of the hard-line eurosceptic ERG's announcement of its view of the framework at around 1030GMT, it could leave Sunak in the politically dangerous position of relying on Labour votes to pass the statutory instrument.
- Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated that he intends to vote against the frameworkl. According to the Telegraph, Johnson says that the framework leaves Northern Ireland “captured by the EU legal order” and is “not acceptable”.
- Former PM Liz Truss, former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith and former Home Secretary Priti Patel will all vote against the gov't.
- Today's vote (likely in the early afternoon) is on a statutory instrument related to the 'Stormont brake' and is the first opportunity for MPs to vote on anything related to the framework.
- The opposition centre-left Labour Party has stated that it will vote with the gov't, meaning that the vote will pass. The govt' has a working majority of 70, meaning that if more than 35 Conservatives vote against the measure then the gov't would be relying on Labour votes to reach a majority. This would leave Sunak's political credibility severely damaged.