London, Mar 22 (EFE).- The House of Commons approved this Wednesday by an overwhelming majority of 515 to 29 votes the legislation that will enable the “Stormont brake”, the tool that will allow the Northern Irish Assembly to object to future legislation community.
The “brake” clause is part of the Windsor Framework, negotiated with the European Union (EU) by the British Prime Minister, the Conservative Rishi Sunak, to replace the problematic Protocol for Northern Ireland agreed in 2019 by Boris Johnson as part of the Brexit treaty.
The result of the vote shows majority support for the rule, despite opposition from Johnson, his successor Liz Truss and 20 other disgruntled Conservatives, as well as that of the Northern Ireland Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
After voting in the House of Commons, the former “Tory” leader returned to the parliamentary committee that is questioning him this afternoon about whether he deliberately lied to Parliament by denying that covid rules had been violated with parties on Downing Street during the pandemic .
At the start of the Commons debate, Sunak, whose resignation last July brought Johnson’s downfall, said the Windsor framework, which regulates Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit status, “represents a good deal for the people, the families and businesses” in the area.
The British province remains in the single community market for goods to avoid erecting a physical border on the island of Ireland, which is part of the EU, which would violate the 1998 peace agreement, which ended decades of armed conflict.
The Minister for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, declared for his part that the new framework “restores sovereignty in practice” and, through the “brake”, “addresses the democratic deficit” of the previous protocol, by allowing the Northern Ireland Assembly, located in the Stormont area of Belfast, can object to future European regulations that they consider contrary to their interests.
However, the leader of the DUP, Jeffrey Donaldson, questioned in the Commons that the “brake” actually implies a “veto” power for the deputies of the province, since in the end it is the British Government and the EU who would have the last word.
Donaldson therefore warned that his party will continue to refuse to form part of the Stormont Executive and Assembly, suspended since February 2022 for their boycott, until the London Government meets their demands that Northern Ireland not receive different treatment with respect to to other regions.
Heaton-Harris is confident that the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, on April 10, along with the Windsor Framework, ushers in “an era of prosperity in Northern Ireland never seen before.”
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is expected to meet European Commissioner for Interinstitutional Relations Maroš Šefčovič in London on Friday to sign the Windsor Framework at the joint UK-EU committee for the implementation of the Withdrawal Treaty .