Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced his no to an agreement with the EU on new Brexit rules for Northern Ireland. “The proposed agreements would either mean that Northern Ireland remains trapped by the EU legal order – and increasingly diverges from the rest of the UK,” the Conservative MP told the Telegraph newspaper (Tuesday). Or the entire United Kingdom could not benefit from Brexit. “This is unacceptable,” Johnson added.

The House of Commons in London will vote on the agreement between the EU and Great Britain this Wednesday, which only came about after years of debate. With his announced no, Johnson also opposed today’s conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Johnson urged Sunak to move forward with a law he had previously introduced that would allow Britain to unilaterally withdraw from the existing agreement with the EU.

The new agreement aims to make trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK easier. The Northern Ireland protocol, which was originally negotiated in the course of Brexit, had previously sparked protests. The protocol provides for a customs border in the Irish Sea. This is intended to prevent border controls between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland in order to prevent old conflicts from flaring up in the civil war region. But the regulation brought with it difficulties, for example when sending parcels or taking pets with you.

Johnson signed the internationally binding Northern Ireland Protocol himself, but soon criticized the agreement. In addition to him, other conservative MPs want to vote against the new agreement that Sunak negotiated with EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen. The government expects about 20 dissenters from its own ranks.