A former Conservative cabinet minister has called on Theresa May to “face down” the “Brextremists” on the Conservative backbenchers who are trying to force her into a more hardline Brexit policy.
Stephen Dorrell, a former Conservative Health Secretary, was responding to reports that the European Research Group (ERG), a group of hardline Leavers on the Conservative backbenches, are preparing an open letter urging the Government to pursue a harder form of Brexit.
Commenting, Stephen Dorrell, Chair of the European Movement and former Conservative Cabinet Minister, said:
“The Brexit policy of the hardliners in the Conservative Party would be disastrous for our country. It would push our economy off a cliff edge, damage our trade with Europe and put jobs at risk.
“The Prime Minister and the Cabinet must not allow themselves to be pushed around by the Brextremists. They need to focus on the serious issues, face these people down, and retain a willingness to compromise and be flexible in the Brexit negotiations, rather than have their hands tied.”
James McGrory, Executive Director of Open Britain, said:
“It’s time for the PM to show some guts and slap down the siren voices from the extreme right, who want to put their ideological obsessions ahead of the economic wellbeing of the British people.
“Ministers should start by putting full Single Market and Customs Union membership at the heart of their negotiating strategy, rather than unnecessarily taking options off the table. ”
Notes to editors:
The ERG letter is reported here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/7feb4e7a-93c2-11e7-8177-dcdb1e4e95ab