Sunak unleashes chaos Brexit revolt by ‘sacking’ Tory MPs from crucial committee

A row has broken out in Parliament after Tory whips removed five Conservative MPs from a crucial committee to prevent another Brexit revolution.

With a civil war in the Tory party simmering ahead of three crucial by-elections this week, Mr Sunak apparently narrowly escaped a humiliating defeat by removing five MPs from a committee looking at postal regulations for Northern Ireland.

The secondary legislation committee, which is due to meet at 6pm, was considering an important part of Mr Sunak’s Windsor Framework deal with the EU on Northern Ireland.

But it has emerged that the Government learnt that five MPs, including Danny Kruger, Sir James Duddridge and Marco Longhi, were intending to vote against the new regulations after a briefing paper from the DUP was circulated.

Tory MPs are concerned that the changes will provide yet another border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK and undermine Brexit.


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The removal of MPs from a Secondary Legislation Committee on the day of a hearing is unprecedented in the Commons and it is understood that Sir James intends to raise a point of order this afternoon.

A source said: “The Government thinks somehow it can get the Windsor Framework through with a 90-minute debate and all the serious changes just done on the nod through secondary legislation instead of being passed on the floor of the House.

“It’s absolutely outrageous that there is no proper scrutiny of what has been agreed.

“In essence, we are creating a border with Northern Ireland with parcels in a deal where the EU can unilaterally change its mind.”

One MP removed from the committee said: “I made it clear to the whips that there were certain parts of this legislation I was very unhappy with and could not support.”

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A Government source blamed “a scheduling issue” for the changes.

But the legislation had been the subject of a highly critical document from the Centre for the Union which had been pushed by the DUP.

It said: “These Regulations (and the related EU law) are of significant consequence in so far as they expose, in irrefutable terms, the falsehoods contained within the Government’s claims in relation to the Windsor Framework which is designed to embed the operation of the Protocol.

“The Government (and its Ministers) claimed they had removed the Irish Sea border, but this is not so. It is clear that in fact even those trading solely within the UK internal market must obtain ‘authorisation’ to trade less restrictively (but certainly not freely) via the ‘green lane’. In order to obtain this authorisation, a customs declaration must be completed.

“Put simply, you must fill in a customs declaration to trade GB-NI.

“There have been multiple noises from the Government about bringing forward legislation to restore the Acts of Union and provide constitutional guarantees. It is trite to point out that this simply cannot be fulfilled, certainly not consistent with, for example, the 2023 Regulations which are the subject of this briefing note.”

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