Senior Conservative Brexiteer threatens vote to bring down Theresa May's government

Jack Taylor/Getty ImagesSteve Baker MP
  • Former Brexit minister and Deputy Chairman of Conservative Eurosceptic, Steve Baker, threatens to bring down Theresa May’s government.
  • Baker tells the BBC the idea of voting against his own government was now “on the table.”
  • May’s government could face a vote of no confidence this week if May’s plans are rejected for a fourth time.
  • Members of Parliament are poised to vote on Monday evening for a softer Brexit.

LONDON – A leading Brexiteer and former Brexit minister has threatened to join with Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party in bringing down Theresa May’s government.

Steve Baker MP, who is Deputy Chairman of the European Research Group of Tory Brexiteers, said the possibility of backing a no-confidence vote in the government in protest at May’s Brexit plans was now “coming onto the table.”

“I’m hoping not to reach that point,” Baker told BBC’s Politics Live programme.

“At this point, I can foresee no circumstances while as a Conservative MP I voted against the government in a confidence motion.”

However, he added: “But we are approaching the point where the stakes are now so very high and so transcend party politics and what this country is about, and the fundamental British value that political power rests on consent, that I think these things are coming onto the table.”

Steve Baker, a key figure in the influential European Research Group of backbench Tory Brexiteers, tore into the PM in a behind-closed-doors meeting with fellow Leave ultras.

Members of Parliament will on Monday evening vote on a series of alternative Brexit plans, with the option of Britain remaining in a Customs Union with the EU the favourite to pass.

The government’s chief whip Julian Smith told the BBC this week that Britain is “inevitably” heading for a soft Brexit.

Baker, an influential backbencher who was among the 34 Conservative MPs who voted against May’s deal last week, said he would continue to oppose it.

He told the BBC that a lengthy delay to Brexit would be “less bad” than leaving under the terms of May’s deal.

Baker last week told his colleagues in the ERG that he was considering whether to resign from his party in protest at the direction it is taking on Brexit.

In a rallying address to the group, he branded May’s promise to resign if parliament backed her deal a “pantomime,” and added: “I could tear this place down and bulldoze it into the river.

“These fools and knaves and cowards are voting on things they don’t even understand.

“We’ve been put in this place by people whose addiction to power without responsibility has led them to put the choice of no Brexit or this deal.”

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