Jacob Rees-Mogg, a senior member of the Conservative Party, has joined the chorus of voices pressuring Prime Minister Sunak over his efforts to strike a deal on the Northern Ireland Protocol. As a prominent pro-Brexit figure, Rees-Mogg has raised concerns about the amount of “political capital” being invested in securing a deal without ensuring the support of unionists.
The European Research Group (ERG), a group of Conservative MPs who are skeptical of the European Union, is now insisting on seeing the full text of any deal before agreeing to it. Meanwhile, Maroš Šefovic, the European Commission Vice-President in charge of Brexit, has expressed optimism that a deal could be reached soon.
Rishi Sunak, had hoped to announce a deal on the Northern Ireland protocol with the EU, possibly as soon as Thursday, but there are doubts about the timing. The reason for the urgency is the lack of a functioning government in Northern Ireland, as the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has refused to participate in power-sharing as long as the protocol is in place. While progress has been made on the trade side of the deal, the issue of complying with EU laws in Northern Ireland remains a sticking point.
This issue was the topic of discussion at a meeting between the DUP leader and pro-Brexit Conservative backbenchers. Sunak’s ability to strike a deal on this matter will be crucial, as the absence of a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland would have significant consequences for the people.