Former Brexit Minister Says Almost 80 Tories Will Vote Down Theresa May’s Brexit Plan

The former junior Brexit minister has warned that at least 80 Conservative MPs would be willing to vote against the Prime Minister’s Chequers plan.

Steve Baker said Theresa May’s Party will face a “catastrophic split” if the PM relies on Labour votes to push her proposals on Brexit.

Baker said the PM not to continue with her proposals, which the former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson lambasted as wrapping “a suicide vest” around the British constitution.

“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.

Baker, who quit the government in July in protest at May’s proposals said: “We are reaching the point now where it is extremely difficult to see how we can rescue the Conservative party from a catastrophic split if the Chequers proposals are carried forward.”

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Baker is the ex-chairman of the Eurosceptic group the European Research Group (ERG), which will release its own proposals for Brexit ahead of the Conservatives’ annual conference at the end of the month.

“It is absolutely no pleasure whatsoever to me to acknowledge that, but I look at the mood of colleagues and the mood of the Conservative party in the country and I am gravely concerned for the future of our party.” He added.

Baker told Sky News that an estimated 80 MPs are willing to vote down the PM’s Chequers, noting that the only thing the Conservative Party has come together around the Chequers plan is that it is “unacceptable, unviable and won’t go through.”

“When we asked colleagues before we broke up for the summer whether they were willing to protest Chequers in relation to some amendments, there were almost 80 colleagues, something I have put on the record, who are willing to vote in the House of Commons to vote against Chequers,” Baker said.

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