Brexit: Conservative rebels could yet throw Boris Johnson off track | Politics News

It seems there is no amount of pressure from the European Union that would make Boris Johnson yield over his plans to annul the Withdrawal Agreement.

Via video link, representatives of every one of the EU’s 27 countries joined a meeting of the Joint Committee implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol with Michael Gove and Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission’s vice-president.

Mr Sefcovic protested. Mr Gove replied that the government would not back down.

Michael Gove MP

UK will not scrap controversial bill

The apoplexy expressed by Europe – and a good deal of other international politicians – was priced in by Downing Street when they did this move.

This is why it is unlikely to have much effect.

More dangerous for Number 10 is the pincer movement from the prime minister‘s own party, as we head towards votes on the legislation starting on Monday.

Even the revolt on behalf of Tory MPs who voted Remain is proving more tricky since it is led by Theresa May – Mr Johnson’s predecessor.

Friends say she cannot support the legislation.

Conveniently, however, she is understood to be out of the country on a long-planned trip, meaning she will avoid the consequences of failing to back it, which have in the past included being thrown out of the Tory parliamentary party.

Many of the other rebels who once would have sided with Remainers have avoided protesting in public, just telling the chief whip they cannot support what’s going on.

More striking, however, is the nature of the revolt amongst Brexiteers.

Lord Howard became the third former Conservative leader – but the first who voted for Brexit – to protest in the most vehement possible way over the plans to ride roughshod over international law.

He was swiftly followed by former Tory chancellor Lord Lamont, another Brexiteer, who said that the plan was impossible to support.

:: Subscribe to the All Out Politics podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Sir Bernard Jenkin, of the European Research Group, warned of the consequences of breaking international agreements.

Mr Johnson is at the centre of a pincer movement.

He has a robust 80-strong majority, and the DUP will vote for it. There have not been been any ministerial resignations to date over the issue.

Yet the status and volume of rebels could yet throw the government off track.

Fittingly, Brexit looks like it will be decided on the floor of the House of Commons after all.

Source Article