According to reports, Rishi Sunak is “confident” that a maximum of 20 Tory MPs will vote against his Brexit deal in a crucial vote next week.
Next Wednesday, MPs will have their first opportunity to vote on the Prime Minister’s agreement with the EU on post-Brexit trading arrangements in Northern Ireland.
According to TalkTV, No. 10 has decided to hold the vote because it is “confident” that only 20 Conservative MPs will rebel.
Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke said the figure sounds “roughly about right”.
He told the broadcaster: “I think there is a hardcore which won’t accept any compromise at all but then there is no way out of the fact you want to honour the Good Friday Agreement.
“I think the Prime Minister has done an outstanding job with this agreement.
“And I think it was something a lot of people didn’t think we would get there.
“Liz Truss actually laid a lot of groundwork with the green and red channels, that’s come to pass.
“She got the negotiations moving, Rishi Sunak has finalised them.
“The public wants this over and done with, Parliament wants this over and done with.
“I think there is a few Japanese soldiers not believing the war is over but I think they are very, very few now.”
It comes as a member of the ERG of Conservative Eurosceptics said that members could vote against the Government.
“We believe this meets the Prime Minister’s commitment to have a vote on the new arrangements focused on an issue that is at the heart of the framework,” said the Prime Minister’s official spokesman.
The statutory instrument (SI) to implement the brake mechanism is expected to pass easily, as Labour has stated that they will support the deal in Parliament.
Mr Sunak unveiled the new framework to replace the Northern Ireland Protocol last month.
The protocol was created to avoid a hard Irish border following Brexit.
However, unionists have been outraged because it has created trade barriers between Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom, and the DUP has withdrawn from Stormont in protest.