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EU Member States Rubber-Stamp Brexit Deal, Tory Eurosceptics May Back Johnson in Vote, Ulster MPs Opposed

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Representatives from the 27 remaining European member states “provisionally” approved the Brexit deal agreed between London and Brussels negotiators on Monday, while Tory Eurosceptics may vote in favour of the deal this week, despite concerns about scrutiny.

Ambassadors form EU member states met in Brussels Monday, and unanimously approved the Brexit deal. The move opens the way for the document to active an January 1st, but the decision is only provisional — the Euroepan Parliament will scrutinise the agreement and vote on it in January or perhaps later in 2021, reports the BBC.

The working group of European states is known as the European Council, distinct from the European Parliament, European Commission, and a myriad of other bodies that make up the institutions of the European Union and its associated parts. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote Monday that he had spoken to European Council boss Charles Michel at the time of the agreement, remarking that: “I welcomed the importance of the UK/EU Agreement as a new starting point for our relationship, between sovereign equals.

Parliament Needs Time to Scrutinise EU Deal Now to Avoid Being ‘Checkmated’ by Clauses in Future, Says Brexiteer https://t.co/E1u1NBX5Ec

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 28, 2020

“We looked forward to the formal ratification of the agreement and to working together on shared priorities, such as tackling climate change.”

Members of the European Parliament are voting on the deal after it comes into effect because they want enough time to scrutinise the 1,246-page document, and to do it before January 1st would not be enough time, The Guardian reports. British Members of Parliament have also expressed concerns about the amount of time they have to read the agreement, but nevertheless Boris Johnson has called a vote on it for this Wednesday, the 30th, so it can become law on New Year’s Day.

This, as Breitbart London reported, has triggered concern among some Brexiteers, saying this week’s vote should itself be provisional pending another vote next year. They warned that the deal could include hidden traps — “unnoticed guillotine clauses” — that Switzerland had recently discovered were written into its own treaty with the European Union, preventing it from exercising its own government’s wishes.

Eurosceptics may yet vote for the deal though, with The Times citing influential Tory Brexiteer John Redwood’s comments that while there are concerns on fishing and Northern Ireland, nevertheless there was an exit clause which would allow the UK to escape the deal if it needed to in the future.

Fishermen: Boris ‘Bottled It’, Brexit Deal ‘A Defeat’ for ‘Sacrificed’ Industry https://t.co/UMLmq053aZ

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 28, 2020

Voting against the deal for certain will be Members of Parliament from Northern Ireland itself, however. A full and equal part of the United Kingdom which is on the Western Britain island of Ireland rather than, like the majority of the rest of the UK, on the island of Great Britain, Ulster nevertheless appears to have been treated as a separate entity by the government during Brexit talks.

That situation, and the outcomes in the Brexit deals are strongly opposed by Ulster MPs in Westminster, who are strongly in favour of Northern Ireland retaining that status of a full and equal nation in the United Kingdom, not one drifting towards the orbit of Brussels or the Republic of Ireland, the EU member state it shares the island of Ireland with. The deal as agreed creates a border in the sea between Ulster on one side, and England, Scotland, and Wales on the other — an anathema to unionists on both sides of the Irish sea.

Democratic Unionist Party Westminster spokesman Sammy Wilson articulated this feeling of betrayal in comments reported by the BBC when he said: “Many things have been left unaddressed and kicked down the road… we’ll be saying to the government that these are still issues which we believe are resolvable.

“We expect you [the government] to fulfil promises you’ve made to the people of Northern Ireland but you haven’t done it to date, so don’t expect our support.”

The party said it would be voting against the deal because of its shortcomings.