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Boris Johnson Says He Will Find it Hard to Vote for Rishi Sunak’s Brexit Deal

Boris Johnson has said he will find it “very difficult” to vote for Rishi Sunak’s new Brexit deal for Northern Ireland.

The former prime minister said the deal was “not about the UK taking back control”.

It is the first time he has commented since Mr Sunak unveiled the Windsor agreement on Monday.

The deal with the EU aims to fix post-Brexit trade problems in Northern Ireland.

But Mr Johnson said it was “a version of the solution that was being offered” to Liz Truss when she served as his foreign secretary last year.

In a speech in Westminster, the former PM said: “This is the EU graciously unbending to do what we want in our country not by our laws but by theirs.

“I’m going to find it very difficult to vote for something like this myself, as I believe we should have done something different.”

The deal would act as a “a drag anchor on divergence” from the EU, he added.

“Brexit is nothing unless we in this country don’t do things differently.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen
Image caption,Rishi Sunak announced the Windsor Framework alongside and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen

Mr Johnson called for his controversial Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which the EU argued would breach international law, to be restored if the new deal does not work out.

The bill was scrapped by Mr Sunak, who told MPs his new deal “puts beyond all doubt that we’ve now taken back control”.

MPs are expected to have a vote on Mr Sunak’s Windsor framework in the coming weeks.

Mr Johnson could decide to abstain, rather than actively voting against it.

He remains an influential force on the Tory backbenches but it appears the majority of the party’s MPs will vote for the new deal.

Labour have also said they will back it, guaranteeing that it will become law.

Asked if he would return to frontline politics, Mr Johnson said it was “very, very unlikely I will need to do a big in politics again”.

Instead, he said he would focus on writing his memoirs alongside campaigning for Ukraine, Brexit and Levelling Up.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) – whose support is crucial restoring the power sharing government in Northern Ireland – have yet to deliver their verdict on the deal.

The Brexiteer European Research (ERG) group of Tory MPs have hired lawyers to study the text in detail before announcing whether they support the deal.

Mr Sunak has previously said the new deal is about “what is best for people in Northern Ireland” and not “personalities”.

He said the deal “will make a positive difference for all” in Northern Ireland.

The prime minister is willing to clarify any “misunderstandings” about how the new Brexit deal for Northern Ireland will work, his official spokesman said.

Source : BBC