Sunak to face Brexit revolt as hundreds of Tories ready to turn on PM over Northern Ireland plan

Rishi Sunak has been warned that more than 100 Tory MPs may vote against the Northern Ireland protocol agreement.

The Prime Minister is under increasing pressure as a deal to break the post-Brexit deadlock in Northern Ireland approaches.

Due to potential backlash from the Democratic Unionist party and Conservative backbenchers, hopes of an agreement timetable being announced on Monday and a vote in the House of Commons on Tuesday are fading.

“We’re ready to go,” one insider said, but “nervousness” about opposition was to blame for the delay.

Micheál Martin, Ireland’s deputy prime minister, was scheduled to attend a meeting of the European Commission’s foreign affairs council ahead of the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Sunak faced criticism on Sunday for leaking details about the UK’s compromises, as the EU demands that the Prime Minister scrap a contentious bill that repeals some Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland.

Boris Johnson made a major intervention, urging Sunak to be tougher with Brussels.

According to a source close to him, dropping the legislation would be “a huge mistake,” and that it should be kept as leverage over the EU.

Following Sunak’s meeting in Belfast on Friday, the DUP warned that the plan proposed “currently falls short of what would be acceptable”.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has stated that he is willing to put “party politics aside” in order to vote with the Government on the Northern Ireland deal.

This morning, he said: “I believe there is now a real opportunity to move forward with the protocols, and the UK and the EU have obviously moved closer together.

“The question now is whether the Prime Minister is strong enough to persuade his own backbenchers to support it. And what I’ve said is, on Northern Ireland, the national interest comes first.”

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