Brexit-supporting Members of Parliament are like “jihadis”, a pro-Remain MP has said.
Claire Perry, a Conservative who represents Devizes, launched the broadside against her colleagues while at the same time lamenting “hysterical” language on Brexit.
Comparing fellow Conservatives to Islamic extremists, Ms Perry said: “I have to say that the tone of this debate – and we’ve heard a little bit, although it’s starting to calm down – sometimes borders on the hysterical.
“I feel sometimes I am sitting along with colleagues who are like jihadis in their support for a hard Brexit.”
She went on to say: “No Brexit is hard enough – ‘begone you evil Europeans, we never want you to darken our doors again’. People say: ‘Steady on, Claire’, but I am afraid I heard speeches last week exactly making that point.
“The point of this is, the more we get this out in the open, the more we are not led by some of the most hysterical tabloid newspapers out there, but actually have an open and frank conversation with each other about what we want to do, the better.”
Ms Perry, speaking as the House of Commons, spent a second day deliberating amendments to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill, which will grant Prime Minister Theresa May the power to trigger the process of leaving the EU.
She was one of seven Conservative MPs to rebel against the government and back an opposition amendment forcing the government to give Parliament a bigger say on the final Brexit deal.
The amendment was nonetheless defeated after the government announced they intended to do that anyway.
MPs will finish debating the bill on Wednesday evening before holding a final vote. If it is passed, it will then go to the heavily pro-Remain House of Lords for further deliberation.