LONDON: Two ministers quit the government in protest on Tuesday as Theresa May suffered a furious Conservative backlash after opening the door to negotiations with Jeremy Corbyn over a Brexit deal.
Eurosceptic MPs reacted with horror to the prime minister’s offer to work with Labour following Tuesday’s marathon cabinet meeting.
Nigel Adams, a government whip and under-secretary of state for Wales, quit in protest at May trying to “cook up a deal with a Marxist”.
Chris Heaton-Harris, a Brexit minister, also resigned. “I simply cannot support any further extension to article 50 and this obviously means I cannot stay in government,” he said. “I truly believe we should have honoured the result of the 2016 referendum” and left the EU on 29 March.
Their departures came as senior Eurosceptics, from Boris Johnson to Jacob Rees-Mogg, expressed outrage at the idea that May would be willing to work with Labour.
May was challenged directly by a string of Tory MPs at prime minister’s questions about the decision to discuss the idea of a softer Brexit, which could involve tearing up a manifesto commitment not to pursue a customs union.