Rishi Sunak's Brexit deal officially signed off after PM crushes Tory rebellion | The Sun

Rishi Sunak's Brexit deal officially signed off after PM crushes Tory rebellion | The Sun

March 24, 2023

RISHI Sunak's new Brexit deal was officially adopted by the UK and EU today.

In a major win for the PM, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and EU Vice Chief Maroš Šefčovič signed off on the historic Windsor Framework in London.

It finally brings to an end months of negotiations between Brussels and Westminster over the trade crisis in Northern Ireland.

In a statement, a proud Mr Cleverly said: "We’ve formally adopted the Windsor Framework.

"This delivers on our commitment to the people of Northern Ireland."

He added: "Both sides agreed to work together intensively and faithfully to implement all elements of the Windsor Framework.


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"The United Kingdom and European Union also reaffirmed their intent to use all available mechanisms in the Framework to address and jointly resolve any relevant future issues that may emerge."

The formal adoption of the major deal comes after it was given the nod of approval by MPs in the Commons.

In a vote on Wednesday the deal sailed through by 515 votes to 29 as a feared backbench revolt melted away.

Despite jitters in No10 of a wider mutiny, only a handful of Tory MPs joined the Democratic Unionist Party and voted against.

The Windsor Framework at a glance


RED tape will be cut on goods and parcels passing from GB to Northern Ireland via a new “green lane”, while items destined for the Irish Republic inside the EU will go in a “red lane”.

Chilled meats like sausages, which were banned under the old protocol, can move freely like other products.

Plant ban lifted

PREVIOUSLY banned popular plants like English oak trees and seed potatoes will once again be widely available to be sold in Northern Ireland without hugely burdensome checks.

This will be by using a similar Plant Passport scheme that already exists in GB.

Stormont brake

NORTHERN Ireland can ignore any new EU law if 30 Assembly Members from at least two parties disagree.

Only the PM can then intervene to veto this “Stormont Brake”.

But it requires the currently-collapsed Assembly at Stormont to be restored, and the EU could take action if used too often.

Euro judges

THE role of the European Court of Justice is significantly reduced as its oversight of issues like medicines and food safety are removed.

The government says that the deal scraps 1,700 pieces of EU law meaning that fewer than three per cent of Brussels rules will apply.

VAT, tax, state aid

NORTHERN Ireland will apply UK changes to VAT and excise duties, meaning there will be cheaper pints for punters thanks to Mr Sunak’s alcohol reforms.

State aid subsidies like the energy package help will also now apply there too — which are set in Westminster.


PETS can also now travel freely with their owners across the UK, without expensive health treatments like rabies or documentation paperwork from a vet being required.

Pet owners in Northern Ireland won’t have to do a thing when it comes to travelling over to GB.

And with added support from Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP the agreement cleared with a whopping majority of 486.

It is a fresh win for Mr Sunak after a well-received Budget and bagging a breakthrough pay deal with nurses to halt strike action.

He won round colleagues after a flurry of talks to sell his Windsor Framework.

But he suffered an awkward wobble as three of his predecessors and a slew of Brexiteer backbenchers opposed him.

Former Tory leaders Mr Johnson, Liz Truss and Iain Duncan Smith voted against Mr Sunak's plan to solve the impasse in Northern Ireland.

Ex-Cabinet Ministers Sir Jake Berry, Priti Patel and Simon Clarke also opposed the Bill.

Eyebrows were also raised after 48 Conservative MPs abstained from voting.

But overall, the rebellion was small and the vote hailed a success by Tory MPs across the party's different wings.

The historic Windsor Framework will end the so-called “sausage wars” that saw two years of border chaos over goods and trade.

EU red tape that hampered meats, sarnies, parcels and even seed potatoes being exported from mainland Britain have been abolished in a major win for the UK.

Goods will freely flow into the province from the mainland unrestricted, with Northern Ireland brought back under Westminster’s tax and VAT regime.

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Green and red lanes will be set up at Northern Irish ports, with just a simple declaration needed for green lane goods.

Ministers claim less that three per cent of EU law now applies to the Province and only targets any goods and products destined for sale in the EU’s Single Market via the Republic of Ireland.

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