A former Tory minister has said that nearly a dozen Conservative MPs would be willing to collapse their own government in order to stop potential future prime minister Boris Johnson from taking the UK out of the EU without a deal.
The former minister, speaking anonymously to The Guardian, said: “I do think at least 10 would vote to bring down the government if the government was taking us into no deal.”
“Politicians don’t like to admit that they take this view in public, they like to hedge their bets a bit, but that has been my view for a long time,” he added.
The comments come as arch-Remainer and Tory grandee Ken Clarke also said he was prepared to vote against his government to stop the UK leaving the bloc in a no-deal scenario if Parliament could not support the withdrawal treaty by October 31st.
“…it might trigger an election, it might trigger a change of government without an election under the law we now have”, Mr Clarke said.
The threats come after fellow Europhile Dominic Grieve said that he and other Remainer Tories would conspire to topple a prospective Prime Minister Johnson if he attempted a no-deal, saying that “a large number” of Conservative MPs “will object to that happening”.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 23, 2019
The frontrunner in the leadership race, Mr Johnson has said that the UK will leave the EU with or without a deal on October 31st, reiterating his pledge this week.
“My pledge is to come out of the EU at Halloween on 31 October,” Mr Johnson told the BBC, adding: “The way to get our friends and partners to understand how serious we are is finally, I’m afraid, to abandon the defeatism and negativity that has enfolded us in a great cloud for so long and to prepare confidently and seriously for a WTO or no-deal outcome.”
The UK was scheduled to leave the EU on March 29th; however, outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May twice delayed the country’s exit as she attempted to pass her unpopular EU-approved Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the House of Commons. Now, more than three years since the UK voted to leave the EU, Mr Johnson has warned that failure to deliver Brexit would mean “defeat” for the party at the next General Election, with the latest YouGov survey putting The Brexit Party in the lead for national voting intentions.