But speaking during a debate in the House of Commons before this vote, the veteran MP of 25 years raged: “We have left the European Union but yet all laws before we left in relation to the Single Market still apply and subjugate the people of Northern Ireland to the EU but not to the rest of the UK.
“There is no such thing as Northern Ireland sovereignty.
“There is only constitutional Westminster sovereignty and I’m afraid I do not recognise the expression practical sovereignty used by the Secretary of State in this debate and in a letter he wrote to the Joint Committee Chairman on statutory instruments on March 20.
“Why should two million Northern Ireland residents and voters for Westminster be treated differently, from say, the two million people from Birmingham, Liverpool or Manchester?”
Sir Bill continued: “We in this country operate a rule of law and a constitutional law which confers the sovereignty of Westminster parliament, which includes the people of Birmingham Manchester, Liverpool and Northern Ireland, and should do so equally.
“Since Brexit, over 640 laws which we see each week in the European Scrutiny Committee, which I chair, have been passed already for Northern Ireland by the EU Council of Ministers behind closed doors in Brussels, by majority vote, without even a transcript.
“Can we imagine laws being passed in this country, in Westminster, without a transcript, and by majority vote? It’s unthinkable.”
The outburst from the ardent Brexiteer came after Prime Minister Mr Sunak received a huge Brexit boost after successfully fighting off a rebellion of backbench Tory rebellion opposed to his deal with the EU on trading arrangements in Northern Ireland.
The ‘Stormont Brake’, aimed at providing a veto over the imposition of new EU rules in Northern Ireland, was passed by a huge margin of 515 votes to 29, with the Labour Party and other opposition parties backing it.
Just 22 Tory rebels defied a three line whip to vote against the regulations, while six DUP MPs voted also against the statutory instrument.
A Government spokesman hailed the successful vote, insisting it puts power back in the hands of Stormont and Westminster, ending the “ratchet effect” of new EU law in Northern Ireland.
They said: “The Windsor Framework is a turning point for the people of Northern Ireland, fixing the problems with the old Protocol to ensure the smooth flow of internal UK trade, safeguard Northern Ireland’s place in the Union and address the democratic deficit.”
But DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson warned it had still not laid the ground for his party to return to powersharing at Stormont.
This has been suspended since last year when the DUP walked out in opposition at the way the Northern Ireland Protocol was operating.
Speaking in the Commons, Sir Jeffrey said the “bottom line” for the party’s return to powersharing was an assurance that EU law could not impede Northern Ireland’s ability to trade with the rest of the UK.
He said: “Until that is resolved, I can’t commit to the Government that we will restore the political institutions – it’s what I want to do, but we need to get this right,” he said.
“I want Stormont restored on a sustainable basis, on a stable basis where there is cross-community consent and consensus. That does not exist at the moment.”