Boris Johnson and Liz Truss will both vote against Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal this afternoon in the Commons.
Johnson said it was “unacceptable” that the Windsor Framework would continue to subject Northern Ireland to EU law.
Instead, he believes the government should pass the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which would allow ministers to unilaterally rip up parts of the existing UK-EU agreement.
Only two hours after Johnson’s announcement, it was confirmed that Truss, who defeated Sunak in the Tory leadership election last summer, will also join the growing Tory rebellion.
According to one source, Sunak’s agreement weakens the UK’s ability to deviate from EU rules and regulations.
The DUP has also stated that it will vote against the agreement.
Johnson said: “The proposed arrangements would mean either that Northern Ireland remained captured by the EU legal order – and was increasingly divergent from the rest of the UK – or they would mean that the whole of the UK was unable properly to diverge and take advantage of Brexit.
“That is not acceptable. I will be voting against the proposed arrangements today. Instead, the best course of action is to proceed with the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, and make sure that we take back control.”
The current customs border in the Irish Sea would be virtually eliminated under the Windsor Framework, which Sunak agreed on with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last month.
Sunak also asserted that a “Stormont brake” would allow the government to veto any new EU laws imposed on Northern Ireland.
However, the European Research Group, a group of hardline Tory Brexiteer MPs, said yesterday that the mechanism was “practically useless” and slammed the PM’s deal.
Despite Tory and DUP opposition, the government is still expected to win today’s vote because Labour has already stated their support.