Boris Johnson Fires a Warning to Rishi Sunak

As Rishi Sunak works to reach an agreement on the Northern Ireland Protocol, Boris Johnson has fired a warning to the Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson Fires a Warning to Rishi Sunak f

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The intervention mostly discusses Sunak's approach

Boris Johnson has issued a warning to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as he works to reach an agreement on the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Once more, Rishi Sunak is dealing with an unexpected intrusion from one of his forebearers – this time regarding the finalisation of the Brexit deal and what this would mean for the current Northern Ireland Protocol.

The PM has spent the past several days negotiating with the DUP and the head of the European Commission.

A source close to Johnson told the Sunday Telegraph that tossing out the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill in favour of a fresh Brexit deal would be a “great mistake”.

Penny Mordaunt attempted to minimise the statement on a live broadcast from the BBC on February 19, 2023, calling Johnson’s perspective a “not entirely unhelpful intervention”.

Several Conservative MPs who support Sunak feel that rather than risking conflict with some of his party members, he should leave the matter alone.

The intervention mostly discusses Sunak’s approach to dealing with Brussels.

Johnson is the one who first agreed to the arrangement and insisted that there would be no customs inspections on products, but he subsequently admitted that the union and Northern Ireland did not benefit from the deal.

He presented the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which would let the UK independently renegotiate portions of the agreement, to deal with this issue.

The Bill infuriated Brussels, and if it became law, officials from the EU threatened legal action and retaliation.

Even though it was certain to encounter opposition in the House of Lords, it was seen on the UK side as a method to put further pressure on the EU.

But, Sunak has put the Bill on hold while he works with Brussels to modify the Protocol.

It is believed that the government will completely postpone the law if an agreement is reached, which may be revealed as soon as this coming week.

Johnson’s intervention is essentially a warning shot as there is no settlement in place (Sunak emphasised that nothing had been finalised).

Although Sunak and the DUP had cordial discussions, the party has cautioned that the planned agreement may not go far enough to relieve its worries about the “democratic deficit”.

According to sources, there has long been anxiety at Downing Street that Johnson and Liz Truss may speak out over the Protocol.

One of the reasons some Sunak-supporting MPs think he should leave the matter alone rather than risk a conflict with the Conservative right wing is because of this.

A vote may not be necessary since a new accord does not need primary legislation, but MPs will usually find a way to convene one if they have the motivation.

Rishi Sunak runs the danger of inflaming the party’s right flank, making it more difficult to govern, and maybe giving Johnson the chance to rally support if he decides to make a comeback.



Ilsa is a digital marketeer and journalist. Her interests include politics, literature, religion and football. Her motto is “Give people their flowers whilst they’re still around to smell them.”



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