David Mundell outside Downing Street yesterday
And Mark Fitzpatrick, director-general of the influential pro-Brexit think tank the Insitute for Economic Affairs, has told Express.co.uk he would “not be surprised” at further resignations for ministers who found themselves unable to toe the line any further, including International Trade Minister Liam Fox, whose job he said would be “redundant” under Mrs May’s proposals. The Prime Minister has been meeting colleagues to try and sell the proposals to them, but the website indicated she had not done enough to convince Mr Mundell, without citing specific sources. Mr Mundell was among 13 Scottish Conservatives who signed a letter to May saying she needed to deliver “complete control” over domestic fishing waters, adding that Britain must leave the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy after December 2020.
In October Mr Mundell denied reports that he had threatened to resign over Brexit, following suggestions that both he and Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson had been ready to quit their posts.
In the letter, he and his 12 fellow Tories said Ms May had guaranteed Britain would have “complete control and full sovereignty over domestic waters”, from the end of 2020, when the transition period ends.
The letter states: “We could not support an agreement with the EU that would prevent the UK from independently negotiating access and quota shares.
“That would mean that we would not be leaving the CFP [commons fisheries policy] in practice and would be becoming an independent coastal state in name only.”
Theresa May is trying to convince ministers of the benefits of her Brexit plan
Writing on Twitter, Ross Thomson, a Brexit-supporting Scottish Conservative lawmaker, said on Twitter: “I fought head, heart, body and soul to save our Union in 2014.”
Mr Thomson, who also signed the letter on fishing policy, added: “If the news reports are true, the backstop would result in Northern Ireland diverging unconsciously from the UK and it would fundamentally undermine our Union, breaking it up by the back door.
“I find this unacceptable.”
Mr Littlewood told Express.co.uk: “I would not be at all surprised if we saw some resignations as a result of this.
Penny Mordaunt is rated at 3/1 to resign by Easyodds.com
“Perhaps after Chequers some thought they could influence policy from inside but the deal appears to have moved in a less free-trade direction.
“As such they have a difficult decision to make.”
Mr Littlewood singled out Mr Fox, an enthusiastic Brexiteer who job essentially consists of putting the groundwork in place for future trade deals with third countries after Brexit, as one who might opt to walk if the UK remained tied to EU regulations.
International Trade minister Liam Fox may also be considering his position, said Mark Littlewood
He explained: “His job would become redundant. It would be no huge surprise if he resigned.”
Ministers are locked in discussions with the Prime Minister, with the meeting not expected to finish until 6pm at the earliest.
The often-tortuous process of Brexit has seen numerous people quite Mrs May’s Government, most notably Brexit Secretary David Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson just hours after the cabinet met at the Prime Minister’s country retreat to thrash out a plan which was subsequently nicknamed the Chequers blueprint.
Mr Johnson, now a backbench MP, has urged others to follow his suit, and while his own brother Jo did quit his job as transport minister, he, unlike the MP for Kensington and Chelsea, is a staunch Remainer.
Former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair savaged Theresa May’s deal, saying it amounted to “capitulation” to the European Union, urging Labour MPs to vote against it.
Tony Blair said the deal was a “capitulation”
The prominent Remainer said the plan would give the European Union a veto over divergence from Brussels’ rules.
He urged Labour MPs to reject the deal and back a second referendum, hitting out at Jeremy Corbyn’s “abject refusal” to “lead the country out of the nightmare”.
He said: “Nothing can disguise the nature of the deal Theresa May has chosen, if reports of it are true.
“This deal isn’t a compromise, it’s a capitulation.”
According to Easyodds.com, Mr Mundell is 2/1 to be the next minister to resign.
Penny Mordaunt is 3/1, Ester McVey is 4/1, Theresa May herself is 9/1, and Brexit minister Dominic Raab is 10/1
(More to follow)