LIVE: Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal to be formally signed off TODAY

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Brexit deal for Northern Ireland will be formally signed off on today at an official meeting in London, amid hopes that improved UK-EU relations will result in benefits elsewhere.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and European Commission President Maros Sefcovic will co-chair a meeting in which the UK and EU will formally adopt the new Northern Ireland arrangements, following the Government’s approval of the Windsor Framework earlier this week.

Former Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Liz Truss joined the Democratic Unionist Party and hardline Brexit-supporting Tory MPs in voting against the deal.

The Windsor Framework Promises

  1. Create ‘green’ and ‘red’ lanes in Northern Irish ports so that goods bound only for the devolved nation do not have to go through checks, but those bound for the Republic do.
  2. Ensure that medicines approved by the UK’s regulatory body are no longer barred from entering the Northern Irish market.
  3. Introduce the Stormont brake, which will allow the Northern Ireland Assembly to veto any new EU laws affecting Northern Ireland with which it disagrees. This, however, comes with caveats and would be difficult to implement.
  4. Ensure that Northern Ireland follows the same VAT and excise rules as the rest of the UK.

What critics have said about the Stormont brake and how it works

The Stormont brake mechanism in Rishi Sunak’s Windsor Framework allows the Northern Ireland Assembly to veto new EU laws applicable to Northern Ireland with which it disagrees.

If 30 Stormont MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) from two or more parties objected to the new rule, it would be suspended.

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However, the veto would have to be approved by the UK Government and then by the EU.

The brake could be used only as a last resort if it was determined that the EU law would have a “significant impact specific to everyday life.”

The House of Commons voted on this aspect of the Windsor Framework on Wednesday.

The Stormont brake, according to the chair of the pro-Brexit European Research Group (ERG), is “practically useless,” the overall agreement would make EU law supreme, and the “framework itself has no exit.”