RISHI Sunak insisted he could get to his proposed Northern Ireland deal through the Commons, despite warnings of a sizeable rebellion by Tory Eurosceptics. 

“I am a Conservative, a Brexiteer and a unionist, and any agreement that we reach needs to tick all three boxes," the Prime Minister told MPs.

While no deal has yet been struck, talks are ongoing, with the Tory leader speaking to European Commission president Ursula Von Der Leyen last night.

However, the Prime Minister had been hoping to present the new deal this week.

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The protocol was part of the post-Brexit trading agreement with Brussels, coming into force in 2021.

It aims to ensure the free movement of goods across the island of Ireland, by placing the border between the UK and the EU between Northern Ireland and Great Britain instead.

Unionist parties say this undermines Northern Ireland's place in the union.

Negotiations to try and resolve the issues have been going on for more than a year. 

There are fears from Brexiteers that Mr Sunak could agree a treaty that simply does not go far enough. That could lead to a number of his own backbenchers rebelling when it comes to the vote. 

Last night there was also speculation Home Secretary Suella Braverman could quit the government over the deal. 

In the Commons, the Prime Minister attempted to reassure his party.

"It needs to ensure sovereignty for Northern Ireland, it needs to safeguard Northern Ireland’s place in our union, and it needs to find practical solutions to the problems faced by people and businesses.

“I will be resolute in fighting for what is best for Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom.”

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said his party’s MPs would vote to get a deal through the Commons, suggesting that Mr Sunak should rely on Opposition support rather than trying to win over the “irreconcilables”, the “malcontents” and “wreckers” on the Tory benches.

He said the Prime Minister had to be “honest” that there would be a continued role for the European Court of Justice and Northern Ireland would have to continue to follow some of Brussels’ laws.

The Prime Minister said Sir Keir’s approach was to “give the EU a blank cheque and agree to anything they offer. It’s not a strategy, that’s surrender”.

Pressed on whether MPs would get a vote on any changes to the protocol agreed with Brussels, Mr Sunak said: “Of course Parliament will express its view.”

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DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson told Mr Sunak: “It is unacceptable that Northern Ireland has been put in this place with a protocol imposed upon us, that harms our place in the UK.

“It must be replaced with arrangements that are acceptable and restore our place in the UK and its internal market.”

He warned that it was “unacceptable” for EU laws to be imposed on Northern Ireland with no democratic scrutiny or consent and said any deal must not involve simply “tweaking” the protocol but instead “rewriting the legally binding treaty text”.

Mr Sunak said addressing the “democratic deficit” was an essential part of the negotiations with Brussels and he had heard the DUP’s concerns “loud and clear”.