Theresa May has come under pressure to ditch Brexit talks with Labour or risk losing the ‘loyal middle’ of the Tory party.
Some 13 former ministers, together with the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee Sir Graham Brady, have written to the Prime Minister warning her not to give ground over Labour’s key demand for a customs union.
The signatories are said to include political leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab plus Gavin Williamson, who was sacked as defence secretary earlier this month.
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The intervention, reported by the Times, comes as Mrs May prepares to brief senior ministers on the state of the talks.
They began in April but there is little sign of any breakthrough. Labour are demanding a customs union with the EU after Brexit but Mrs May has always been adamant the UK must leave the trading bloc.
The letter warns the Prime Minister that if she concedes to Labour demands, she will lose more Tory MPs in the Commons that she gains Labour backers.
The group also made the point that Mrs May should not bind her successor to a deal with Labour.