Ex-Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan blasts 'toddler' pro-Brexit Tories

Posted On: 
7th May 2018

Pro-Brexit Conservative MPs are like "toddlers" who risk throwing the next election away for the party, a former Cabinet minister has declared.

Nicky Morgan now serves as chair of the Treasury Select Committee
Credit: 
Louise Haywood-Schiefer

Nicky Morgan launched a fresh broadside at Tory colleagues who hurl threats at Theresa May and set down red lines over the UK's future relationship with the EU.

She likened them to young children who “want their favourite toy and stamp their feet with frustration”.

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Her comments are sure to anger the doggedly pro-Brexit MPs in her party, and come as the row over the customs union continues to ramp up.

Yesterday Jacob Rees-Mogg, the chair of the 60-strong backbench European Research Group, blasted Business Minister Greg Clark for peddling a “project fear” agenda on the issue.

But in a fresh assault, Ms Morgan went further than her fellow pro-EU colleague Justine Greening did this week when she argued the Brexiteers were like Russia wielding its veto at the UN.

“I think many of them are like toddlers who want their favourite toy, and stamp their feet with frustration,” the former Education Secretary wrote in an article for the ConservativeHome website.

“For over 20 years, some in my party have agitated and threatened and harried party leaders to adopt more Eurosceptic poses – to secure the referendum, to change the question, to get us to talk only and endlessly about the EU.

“Now they have decided to set some red lines accompanied by threats of leadership contests and withdrawing cooperation in Parliamentary votes.”

The Treasury Select Committee chair added: “For too long the Conservative One Nation tradition has tried to accommodate these demands. Well, enough is enough.”

Ms Morgan said the avid Brexit supporters were “prepared to turn a blind eye to its impact on the financial security of thousands of potential Conservative voters” in the pursuit of their agenda.

And she warned that such an approach would do the party “no favours” at the ballot box when it comes to seeking a majority at a future general election.

It was reported today that Theresa May has warned her ministers to back a revamp of her so-called ‘customs partnership’ plan or face ending up with full customs union membership after Brexit.

The proposal would see the UK collecting trade tariffs on behalf of Europe but still able to operate an independent customs regime.

But pro-Brexit Tory MPs have blasted the plan and threatened to deprive the Prime Minister of her fragile majority if she pushes forward with it.