Brexit: New Northern Ireland deal expectations dismissed by former minister as predicted by today’s announcement | Political news

The former minister has played down expectations of how far Northern Ireland’s new Brexit deal will go, but said it was expected to be announced today.

Sir Robert Buckland, the former Welsh Secretary and Justice Secretary, said it “looks like the UK government and the EU have come to an agreement”.

Philip Rycroft, former Brexit The department’s permanent secretary also said a deal “must almost be done”, otherwise the European Commission president would not be coming to the UK today.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been in talks with the EU for several weeks to resolve important issues northern Ireland The protocol was introduced to trade in the country after the UK left the EU three years ago.

Him and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen are due to announce this afternoon whether, after further talks, a final deal can be agreed.

Recent talks on a post-Brexit deal – political update

Sir Robert, who is a member of the House of Commons Northern Ireland Committee, told Kay Burley on the Sky News breakfast programme: “We cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

“I’m sure this deal will likely have some unanswered questions and may not solve all the problems in one fell swoop.

“But it looks like it’s going to be a big step forward.”

He added that if that were to happen, the government would not have to take “unilateral action”, referring to the Northern Ireland Protocol Act introduced by Boris Johnson which prevailed over the deal he had agreed with the EU, but was stopped by Mr Sunak.

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Sir Robert Buckland: ‘We’ll hear a lot of feedback’

Read more:
What is the Northern Ireland Protocol and why is it important?

How the Brexit talks between Sunak and von der Leyen could go today

On why Mr Sunak appears to have gone further than his three predecessors in agreeing a deal that benefits both the EU and the UK, Sir Robert said: “This Prime Minister has been able to create a relationship of trust.

“I think it’s about personalities, it’s not a reflection on past prime ministers, but if you get along well with people and earn their trust, then I think there’s more business to be done in all our experiences.

“I think relations with the French president have probably improved, I think there is a will.”

What could be in the new deal with Northern Ireland?

  • Westminster, not the EU, could set VAT rates and state subsidies for Northern Ireland
  • The EU can access UK real-time data on trade flows across the Irish Sea
  • Brussels must notify UK of future EU rules for Northern Ireland – Stormont can object and EU can opt out of this regulation
  • If the EU objects, the courts of Northern Ireland can rule on the implementation of EU rules before Brussels has a say
  • Reducing the role of the European Court of Justice

Will there be a vote on the deal?

Both Tory and Labor MPs have got a three-line whip for today, which means they face suspension from their party membership if they fail to appear in parliament.

This sparked speculation that MPs would vote on the expected deal.

Sir Robert said there was “technically” no need for a vote as the Withdrawal Act allows for “direct effect” of deals.

However, he said, “I think there will be some sort of vote.”

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey also said he expected a vote.

“He doesn’t have to take it to parliament, he absolutely doesn’t have to in terms of the constitution,” Kay Burley told Sky News at breakfast.

“But I think politically he has to do it, I think most if not all MPs and certainly voters would find it extraordinary if he did such a big deal and wouldn’t let an electorate that expects its representatives to have something to say Proverbs”.

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