Sunak accused of grubby deal with EU as Brexiteers rage at U-turn

Jacob Rees-Mogg defends Retained EU Law Bill

Downing Street has denied claims that the decision to water down plans for a bonfire of EU red tape was part of a secret deal with Brussels. Tory Brexiteer MPs fear that the Brexit U-turn was an “unspoken” part of the Windsor Framework deal on Northern Ireland.

Speculation heightened when Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch failed to rule out a connection between the deal and her decision to make amendments to the EU Retained Law Bill when asked about it by Tory MP Greg Smith.

She answered that she had not been involved in the Windsor Framework talks.

A senior member of the European Research Group (ERG) of Tory Brexiteer MPs told “Brussels had two objectives.

“One was to keep control of us through Northern Ireland and the second was to reduce divergence from their rules. They appear to have achieved both.

“This looks like a grubby deal behind closed doors which was never made public.

“It may be a coincidence in the timing but there appears to be a link.

“The Bill passed through parliament unamended with no Conservative MPs voting against and then the government decides to just change it in the Lords.

“Why capitulate to some Remainer peers unless there was a deal with the EU?”

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Another source accused the Government of “surrendering” to Brussels “at the first opportunity”.

They told “We all know what’s go on here – clearly all part of the agreement for the Windsor framework.

“Once more, we surrender to Brussels at the first opportunity!”

A report published in March 2023 warned that the plans to scrap thousands of EU-era laws could undermine the Windsor Framework.

The Centre for European Reform (CER) said the plan would lead to “unmanaged divergence” between Britain and the EU, which would in turn “deepen the regulatory gulf between Great Britain and Northern Ireland”.

The Prime Minister faced anger on the right of his party after the Government announced that around 600 laws would be revoked under their legislation, rather than the 4,000 pledged.

The initial plan would have seen all laws that were passed over to the UK’s statute book after Brexit be automatically axed, unless specifically kept or replaced.

The previous plan had a cut-off date of the end of the year.

But Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch yesterday announced that the Government will aim to get rid of less than 1,000 laws by the end of the year.

Earlier today, revealed that Brexiteer Tory MPs are considering submitting letters calling for a no confidence vote in their leader as a result of the U-turn.

Former Secretary for Brexit opportunities Jacob Rees-Mogg also accused Rishi Sunak of “behaving like a Borgia” – a wealthy dynasty notorious during the Italian Renaissance for corruption and immorality.

Meanwhile, Conservative MP Mark Francois – Chair of the European Research Group – asked why the Government had rowed back on the pledge when “not a single Tory MP voted against it”.

Speaking in the House of Commons, he asked: “What on earth are you playing at?”

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