Conservative MPs have been openly plotting the ouster of Prime Minister Theresa May. On Tuesday night, the European Research Group (ERG) which consisted of more than 50 Eurosceptic MPs discussed possible courses actions to take if May continues to push her Chequers plan.
After a heated night at Westminster, the environment secretary, Michael Gove appealed for order during an interview with BBC’s radio 4 Today’s program and said “The critical thing is we need to make sure there is unity in the Conservative party behind the Prime Minister.”
“This is loose talk and the critical thing is we deliver on the Brexit mandate, and any diversion or distraction from that commitment means our ability to ensure that it is delivered is undermined.”
The Prime Minister’s allies admitted privately that holding off the very hostile Eurosceptic faction in her party is weighing her down.
The pro-Brexit Tory MPs are determined to stop her Chequers plan at all costs and discussed the timing of a confidence vote.
Theresa May has challenged her critics to produce their alternative plan but the ERG members have not come to an agreement on how to deal with a hard border issue that continues to persist in Ireland; a key sticking point in discussions with Brussels.
70 members of pro-Brexit European Research Group of Conservative MPs, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, strongly believe that May’s Chequers plan for a “free trade area” would leave Britain as a “vassal state” because it will tie the nation to Brussel’s rules on goods and agriculture.
On Wednesday, the leading Tory Brexiters, David Davis and Jacob Rees-Mogg maintained that they are not seeking to overthrow Theresa May.
Rees-Mogg said that the goal of the ERG was not to challenge May but to push her to ditch the Chequers plan:
“I have long said and repeated that policy needs to be changed, but I’m supporting the person,” he said on Wednesday. Rees-Mogg added that May was a “fantastic and dutiful” prime minister and affirmed that May “has my support”, he added.