Tories face `dire´ election backlash if they stick to Brexit plans, warns Davis
Former Brexit secretary David Davis has warned of “dire” consequences for Conservatives at the next general election if the Government sticks to its negotiating stance on EU withdrawal.
In a letter to fellow Tory MPs, Mr Davis said a deal based on Theresa May’s Chequers plan would deliver “none of the benefits of Brexit” and reduce the UK to being “a rule-taker from Brussels”.
Mr Davis said that if a deal of this kind is struck, it will be “very obvious” to voters at the next general election that the Government had broken promises from the 2017 Conservative manifesto and the Prime Minister’s Lancaster House speech setting out her Brexit “red lines”.
He repeated his call for the Cabinet to ditch the Chequers plan, which envisages a free trade area for goods based on a “common rulebook”, and go for a looser free trade agreement like the Ceta deal between the EU and Canada.
In his letter, obtained by The Sun, Mr Davis said that the EU was likely either to reject the Chequers proposals at next week’s crunch summit in Brussels, or to demand “further significant concessions”.
He wrote: “If we stay on our current trajectory we will go into the next election with the government having delivered none of the benefits of Brexit, with the country reduced to being a rule-taker from Brussels, and having failed to deliver on a number of promises in the manifesto and in the Lancaster House speech.
“This will not be a technicality, it will be very obvious to the electorate.
“The electoral consequences could be dire.”
It comes as the Prime Minister faces a major Tory revolt over Brexit with as many as 40 hardcore Brexiteers set to resist attempts to coerce them into backing her plan, a former minister has warned.
Steve Baker said he stood by his previous claim that 80 Conservatives would be prepared to oppose the Prime Minister if her deal with the EU kept Britain too closely aligned to it.
He said that they “will not tolerate a half-in, half-out Brexit” after reports that Mrs May hopes to break the deadlock over the Irish border by keeping the EU’s present customs arrangements beyond when the transition period is due to end in December 2020.
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