Theresa May’s Brexit deal is “doomed” and must be renegotiated, ex-defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon has said.
Sir Michael launched a scathing attack on the proposed EU agreement, saying it was the “worst of all worlds”.
Asked whether Mrs May should stay on as Tory leader if it was rejected by MPs, he said it was “up to my colleagues”.
The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg said he was “not one of the usual suspects” on Europe and his remarks showed the depth of Conservative opposition to the deal.
Parliament will vote on whether to accept or reject the terms of the UK’s withdrawal and future relations negotiated by Mrs May on 11 December.
Sir Michael’s decision to come out against the deal is a blow to Mrs May, who is struggling to muster support in Parliament for it.
Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP and the Democratic Unionists have said they will vote against the deal while many Tories have said publicly they are opposed.
Opponents of the deal say it will keep the UK too closely tied to EU rules and minimise the benefits of trade deals struck with other countries.
US President Donald Trump told reporters on Sunday the withdrawal agreement “sounds like a great deal for the EU” and meant the UK might not be able to trade with the US.
In other developments:
- Other political parties have demanded to be involved in any televised Brexit debate, after Theresa May challenged Jeremy Corbyn to a head-to-head encounter
- Research published by the London School of Economics, King’s College and the Institute for Fiscal Studies suggests the PM’s Brexit deal could leave the economy as much as 5.5% smaller in 10 years time than it would be if the UK stayed in the EU
- Judges at the European Court of Justice are to examine whether the UK can call off the process of leaving the EU without permission from member states, following a challenge by a group of Scottish politicians
- International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is visiting Israel to boost economic ties ahead of Brexit
Fallon on PM’s ‘huge gamble’
Sir Michael Fallon, who served as defence secretary under David Cameron and Theresa May before having to resign a year ago, told MPs on Monday the agreement was a “huge gamble” as it would see the UK give up its power to influence EU rules and regulations in return for vague assurances over future trade arrangements.