80 Tory MPs will reject Chequers plan, says former minister
The Conservatives face a “catastrophic split” if Theresa May relies on Labour votes to push her Chequers plan through parliament, one of the prime minister’s most persistent critics has warned.
The former junior Brexit minister Steve Baker said at least 80 Conservative MPs would be willing to vote against the plan, which Eurosceptics argue ties the UK too closely to the EU on regulation, hampering future trade deals.
“If we come out of conference with her hoping to get Chequers through on the back of Labour votes, I think the EU negotiators would probably understand that if that were done, the Tory party would suffer the catastrophic split which thus far we have managed to avoid,” Baker told the Press Association. “It is extremely difficult to see how we can rescue the Conservative party ... if the Chequers proposals are carried forward.”
Justice secretary David Gauke castigated Baker and fellow Eurosceptics for not having a coherent plan: “This is a process that is going to require compromises from all sides. Frankly, there isn’t an alternative by the critics of Chequers.”