A group of Tory MPs has written to Theresa May expressing outrage at colleagues “imposing their own conditions” on the Brexit negotiations.
The 19 backbenchers blasted “highly irresponsible” interventions urging the UK to walk away from talks with Brussels.
They have accused hardline Brexiteers of “deliberately” making trading arrangements in the event of a ‘no deal’ divorce “sound as if this is some status quo which the UK simply opts to adopt”.
Quitting the bloc with a deal, they say, is “essential”.
Wednesday’s intervention comes at a high-stakes point in the Brexit talks, as Prime Minister Theresa May races to placate the DUP and Ireland to move talks on to trade.
She faced pressure from Brexiteer backbenchers not to breach her “red lines” – and even to “apply a new coat of paint” to them – at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions.
The signatories to the new letter include a mix of historically outspoken MPs as well as those who have previously resisted directly criticising their own benches.
They include former education secretary Nicky Morgan, newly elected Scottish MP Paul Masterton and Commons defence committee member Johnny Mercer.
Writing about those calling for a ‘no deal’ Brexit, the group said: “They miss the many business and other voices who have made it clear that… (it) would lead to great uncertainty for EU citizens living here and UK citizens living in the EU, higher costs and reduced choice for consumers, disruption at our ports and borders and grave questions about how cross-border contracts are to be fulfilled.”
Mrs May maintains that “no deal is better than a bad deal” but hopes the issues of the Irish border, EU citizens and the exit bill can be resolved to commence the second stage of negotiations.