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Brexit is now a guerrilla war: Two more senior Tories quit

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Brexit is now 'guerrilla war': Tory rebels promise they 'will not rest' until May's Chequers plan is axed as two more senior Tories quit with the threat of more to come

  • Theresa May is facing a 'guerrilla war' to make her drop her Brexit blueprint
  • Two senior Tories became the latest to quit on Tuesday
  • They told the PM her Chequers plan would damage their party and Britain

By John Stevens And Claire Ellicott For The Daily Mail

Published: 17:26 EDT, 10 July 2018 | Updated: 17:52 EDT, 10 July 2018

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Theresa May is facing a relentless 'guerilla war' to make her drop her Brexit blueprint.

Two senior Tories yesterday became the latest to quit, telling the Prime Minister her Chequers plan would damage their party and Britain.

A ringleader of the Eurosceptic revolt warned of a resignation every day until Parliament goes into recess in a fortnight.

Theresa May is facing a relentless 'guerilla war' to make her drop her Brexit blueprint
Theresa May is facing a relentless 'guerilla war' to make her drop her Brexit blueprint

Theresa May is facing a relentless 'guerilla war' to make her drop her Brexit blueprint

'This is not going to stop,' said the source. 'We want the Chequers plan killed, and we want it killed now. This is guerilla war.'

Pro-Brexit MPs are threatening to vote down any final deal based on the proposals.

And they are considering blocking other Government legislation – taking advantage of the fact Mrs May has no Commons majority.

Some ministers are choosing to remain in Government only 'by the skin of their teeth', according to a Cabinet source.

And Donald Trump deepened Mrs May's Brexit misery yesterday – warning that Britain was in turmoil and apparently backing Boris Johnson.

Although the Prime Minister appears to have seen off an immediate leadership challenge, Eurosceptics are furious about her Chequers agreement, details of which are due to be published tomorrow. It ties Britain into EU rules on goods and would create a customs partnership.

After the resignations of David Davis, Boris Johnson and three other MPs from Government roles, Ben Bradley and Maria Caulfield yesterday took the number of resignations to seven. In letters to Mrs May, the two party vice-chairmen warned that voters would punish the party if Britain stayed close to EU rules.

After the resignations of David Davis, Boris Johnson and three other MPs from Government roles, Ben Bradley (pictured) and Maria Caulfield yesterday took the number of resignations to seven
After the resignations of David Davis, Boris Johnson and three other MPs from Government roles, Ben Bradley (pictured) and Maria Caulfield yesterday took the number of resignations to seven

After the resignations of David Davis, Boris Johnson and three other MPs from Government roles, Ben Bradley (pictured) and Maria Caulfield yesterday took the number of resignations to seven

In other developments:

  • Tory MP Andrew Bridgen went public with a letter of no-confidence, accusing Mrs May of trying to 'dupe' voters;
  • Mr Trump declined to endorse the PM, saying it was 'up to the people' whether she remained in office;
  • At the first meeting of her new Cabinet, ministers agreed to step up preparations for a no-deal departure from the EU;
  • No 10 remained on edge about the intentions of Mr Johnson, who failed to back Mrs May in his resignation letter;
  • Infighting broke out between pro-Brexit Tory MPs in a WhatsApp group, with May backers denounced as 'sycophants and careerists'. Around 80 Tory members of the European Research Group of Eurosceptic MPs met on Monday to plot how to make Mrs May change course.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, who chairs the group, warned the Prime Minister she might have to rely on Labour votes.

In her letter of resignation Miss Caulfield warned that Mrs May's policy 'may assuage vested interests, but the voters will find out and their representatives will be found out'. 'This policy will be bad for our country and bad for the party,' said the Lewes MP. 'The direct consequences of that will be prime minister Corbyn.'

n letters to Mrs May, the two party vice-chairmen warned that voters would punish the party if Britain stayed close to EU rules. Pictured: Maria Caulfield
n letters to Mrs May, the two party vice-chairmen warned that voters would punish the party if Britain stayed close to EU rules. Pictured: Maria Caulfield

n letters to Mrs May, the two party vice-chairmen warned that voters would punish the party if Britain stayed close to EU rules. Pictured: Maria Caulfield

Mr Bradley said the Chequers plan would wreck opportunities to develop global trade and be 'an outward-looking nation in control of our own destiny'.

'Being tied to EU regulations and the EU tying our hands when seeking to make new trade agreements will be the worst of all worlds,' wrote the Mansfield MP, who voted Remain in a constituency where 70 per cent of voters opted to Leave.

The resignations follow those of Brexit Secretary Mr Davis, his junior minister Steve Baker, Foreign Secretary Mr Johnson and ministerial aides Conor Burns and Chris Green.

Mr Bridgen yesterday became the first Tory MP to make public his letter to the chairman of the party's backbench 1922 Committee calling for a vote of no-confidence in Mrs May. A leadership ballot will be triggered if 48 letters are received.

The MP for North West Leicestershire claimed Brexit talks had 'deteriorated into a state of complete capitulation'.

Earlier in the day, Mrs May was bolstered by the support of senior Brexiteers. International Trade Secretary Liam Fox was seen to shake his head and mouth the word 'No' when reporters asked him in Downing Street whether he was about to quit.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove declared he backed the Prime Minister's plans '100 per cent'.  

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By Shawn Arnette 10/07/2018 18:21:00