Suella Braverman is reportedly among a handful of ministers who are prepared to resign over Rishi Sunak’s new Brexit deal on Northern Ireland.
The Prime Minister faces a challenge in his own party as Britain and the European Union inch closer to an agreement seeking to resolve tensions over post-Brexit arrangements.
As negotiations continue, Sunak will meet with his Cabinet as he seeks to satisfy the demands of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
One minister was quoted as saying that they and others were willing to quit if the PM tried to ram through a deal that left Ulster beholden to existing and future EU single market rules.
The minister told The Times: “The naivety is astonishing. The strategy hasn’t worked. People won’t allow something that doesn’t ensure sovereignty.
“Ministers will resign. I couldn’t look myself in the eye and vote through something I thought would undermine sovereignty in Northern Ireland.”
Home Secretary Suella Braverman, a prominent Eurosceptic, insists the bill is among the ‘biggest tools’ ministers have when negotiating with the EU.
She told the BBC: “We’ve been aware for some time now of challenges relating to trade, customs and sovereignty when it comes to Northern Ireland and the NI protocol.
“The legislation that the government introduced is one of the biggest tools we have in solving the problem on the Irish Sea. It’s clear and it’s right that the PM is committed to finding a pragmatic solution to resolve these issues which are affecting the people of Northern Ireland, and that we find a solution that’s pragmatic and workable both for the EU and the UK.”
Threats to her walking away from the Cabinet have all been met in a very similar way on social media.
Here’s a pick of the reaction so far:
Related: Labour will help Sunak get votes he needs to stop ERG scuppering NI Protocol deal