Another Tory MP quits from Theresa May's government over Brexit

The most dramatic resignations over Mrs May's Brexit plan, subsequently set out in a white paper to parliament, saw former Brexit secretary David Davis and ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson step down from government.

"I am not prepared to compromise their wishes to deliver a watered down Brexit".

The amendments to the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill have been proposed by arch-eurosceptic Jacob Rees-Mogg.

But within minutes of the narrow victory, May was rocked by a fresh resignation, this time of her defence minister Guto Bebb, who voted with Labour to oppose the Government.

She added: "Things have moved on from that very clear message that Brexit means Brexit, and that is why we are rightfully questioning the legislation, putting forward new clauses and amendments, and saying not just to the Prime Minister but the whole of government reconsider, look again and work with us".

"Do the leadership aspirations of multi-millionaires trump the need to listen to the employers and employees of this country?"

The Brexiters believed that would kill off the customs plan because they expect Brussels would reject such a measure.

He said: "I can't possibly dress it up in any other words than it's an absolute shambles and a self-inflicted shambles by Number 10".

"I'm sure Theresa May does not want to split the Conservative Party and therefore she will find that the inevitable effect of the parliamentary arithmetic is that she will need to change it (the Brexit policy) to keep the party united", Rees-Mogg said.

"I say that's not acceptable", she told BBC television.

The threat from the Brexiteers is not the only danger facing Mrs May, with pro-EU Tories tabling amendments of their own to the Customs Bill and the Trade Bill - which returns to the Commons on Tuesday - which would keep Britain in a customs union with the EU.

Business minister Greg Clark urged party members to get behind the prime minister's plan: "When it comes to parliament I hope and expect that it will be persuasive that what is on offer will be good for the United Kingdom, it would be good for every part of the United Kingdom".

While heat from Remain wing of the party has also been turned up, Greening claimed the PM's Brexit plan, contrary to what the she claims, is not what people voted for.

May spent the weekend defending her plan, and did so again in a speech at Farnborough airshow Monday, insisting it would protect trade in goods with the European Union and avoid border checks in Ireland.

Greening said she would campaign to keep Britain in the European Union, if a new referendum were held.

In an article in the Mail on Sunday, May urged eurosceptics to keep their "eyes on the prize", warning: "If we don't, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all".

Other Tory MPs have supported the idea of a second referendum including Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry.

A Conservative MP in the pro-Brexit European Research Group told BI that the amendments represented a "big win" and said they were preparing for a summer-long "ground war" in order to deal further blows to May's plan.

  • Joey Payne