Liam Fox ally threatens to quit over Theresa May's Brexit deal

Posted On: 
8th December 2018

A key ally of International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has threatened to quit the government unless changes are made to the backstop proposal in Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

Mrs May faces a crunch Commons vote on Tuesday.

Mike Wood, Conservative MP for Dudley South and Parliamentary Private Secretary to Dr Fox, told the Guardian that he will leave his role if the deal is defeated as expected on Tuesday and Mrs May is then unable to secure better terms from Brussels. 

Mr Wood met with the Prime Minister last week alongside other colleagues to express their concerns.

He said: “What I have indicated to the prime minister is that, while I support most of the deal, I have some big issues with the backstop. If some of those aren’t addressed then I don’t think I will be able to support it.”

“Clearly the ministerial code says that if I can’t support, I would have to resign.

"I am very much hoping that there are enough changes and reassurances by Tuesday for me to vote with the government,” he added

71% of Mr Wodd's constituency voted to leave in 2016.

He explained that he wants “some mechanism to be in place so that we either don’t go into the backstop provisions, or if we go into it we have a clear way of getting out again".

He added: "This could be achieved in a number of different ways so I will obviously look at the proposals as they are on Tuesday before I decide whether to go.”

Mr Wood told the Guardian that a “clear majority” of his fellow parliamentary private secretaries would vote with the Government in Tuesday’s crunch vote.