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Tory Brexiteers warn Sunak not to try to bounce Parliament into accepting a bad deal | Politics | News

The Daily Express has received a background briefing from senior members of the European Research Group of Tory Brexiteer MPs. According to a senior ERG member, the main question being asked is: “What are we supposed to be voting for?” The MP noted: “It’s all getting a bit febrile. There are even daft rumours about the King being involved which we know are untrue and must be utter nonsense but reflects the state of affairs things have reached. It does seem possible though that it could be the Windsor Deal.”

The MP went on: “But the issue is this three line whip the government is briefing. There is always a three line whip on Mondays for MPs to attend and in this case we actually have some legislation we are all supposed to be voting on.

“Somebody is hyping things up. But what is it we are actually supposed to be voting for?

“If it is a White Paper (on policy objectives), that is one thing, itf it is a detailed legal text that is another.”

The MP pointed out that if the legal text was being published then making MPs vote the same afternoon “would be difficult and not give people enough time to study it properly”.

There is though deep sceptisim about whether an acceptable deal has been agreed with Brussels.

One ERG member said: “If the PM has persuaded Brussels to accept our demands, end EU law in Northern Ireland and not just tinker with the problem then I will be the first one to go through the lobby hailing the Prime Minister’s achievement.

“That seems highly unlikely unless there has been some incredible Damascus moment in the EU.”

The focus is on Foreign Secretary James Cleverly’s pledge that the deal would only pass if the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) accepts it.

A senior ERG member noted: “This means one of two things.

“Either Cleverly knows the government has already got the agreement of the DUP then we will all have to support it because you can’t out unionist the unionists.

“The other possibility is that Cleverly is so annoyed that Downing Street has taken over the talks and made [Northern Ireland Secretary] Chris Heaton-Harris more important in this process that he has deliberately made life difficult.”

However, it was noted that Mr Sunak pledged during PMQs on Wednesday that an agreement had to protect Northern Ireland’s sovereignty in the EU.

But the senior ERG figure added: “It’s a dangerous game. This really could make or break the Prime Minister.

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“If he tries to force through something acceptable with Labour votes he will poison the party irrevocably and it could lead to some sort of challenge.

“Trying to bounce Parliament into a deal will be a terrible mistake.”

But the MP added: “If he has got a good deal that is acceptable then it’s a big moment for him.

“None of us have seen a document yet so it is a wait and see situation. But there is a great deal of sceptisim at the moment and a number of conflicting messages.”

*This story has not been edited by The Infallible staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.