Politics explained

Why the Windsor Framework rebellion matters and what’s next for Northern Ireland

Were it not for the out-of-season pantomime performance by Boris Johnson at the Commons committee of privileges, the main focus of parliamentary and political attention would be on the vote on the Windsor Framework. Arguably, it is the moment when Brexit finally “gets done”, and it was always expected to pass with Labour support; but it is also a moment that reminds us that, within the Conservative Party, the debate on Europe is still not over.

What is the vote about?

More than we thought it would be. Until this week, it was assumed that this vote would only be on a statutory instrument to implement the “Stormont brake”, a partial and conditional veto power on EU law for the devolved administration in Belfast. A vote on the overall Windsor Framework was expected later; new legislation will be required to implement some of the framework, such as an amendment to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to implement the brake.


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