WATCH: Senior Tory MP dumps support for Chequers plan in fresh blow for Theresa May
A former cabinet minister has ditched her support for Theresa May’s Chequers plan following the European Union’s public rejection of it last week.
In the latest blow to the Prime Minister, Nicky Morgan said she did not think the “stand-off” with Brussels’ leaders could be broken down under the pitch agreed with ministers in July.
The former education secretary initially hailed Mrs May’s proposals as offering a Brexit that would “safeguards jobs and people’s financial security”, following the frontbench resignations of Boris Johnson and David Davis.
But following Donald Tusk’s comment at the Salzburg summit, that the plan “will not work”, Ms Morgan told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “I’m not sure there is life left in Chequers.”
“I think for whatever reason Salzburg did not go as planned, I think on either side, and we ended up obviously with a bit of a stand-off an unfortunate position…
She added: “I think the question that has to be answered now by the government, by the EU leaders is what room for movement is there, how do we move on from where we ended up last week, talking about continuing negotiations, talking about where we are going to get to, and the issue is of course what is going to be approved by the UK parliament when the negotiations are finished and that’s of critical importance.”
Ms Morgan said she still believed a “coalition of support” could be built in parliament for a Brexit plan that would end the impasse in talks, and dismissed the prospect of a second referendum as a "distraction" and a “rerun of 2016”.
She also batted away the idea of another general election as “bad news all round” that would “potentially delay things”.
She added: “I also think this sabre-rattling about a general election in order to get a majority, to potentially get things through, no, we’ve been there, we did that in 2017, it didn’t go so well, we didn’t get a majority, we lost 33 really good colleagues from our benches.
“We do not need to go through that again. It’s for MPs to step up to the plate and sort this out now…”
Elsewhere Ms Morgan poured cold water on the suggestion that Mrs May could be ousted as PM, adding: “This is not a move that would help the country to get to the best position after Brexit, that would do the least damage economy, and that is what we as Conservatives should be focused on.”
Watch Ms Morgan's comments on the the Prime Minister's Chequers plan below: