Dr Lee, the Under-Secretary of State for Youth Justice, Victims, Female Offenders & Offender Health, took to Twitter to talk down Brexit after a draft of the Government’s impact reports was leaked online.
Insiders have now revealed the minister has been told “to air his views in private”.
Dr Lee wrote: “The next phase of Brexit has to be all about the evidence. We can’t just dismiss this and move on.
“If there is evidence to the contrary, we need to see and consider that too
“But if these figures turn out to be anywhere near right, there would be a serious question over whether a government could legitimately lead a country along a path that the evidence and rational consideration indicate would be damaging.
“This shows the PM’s challenge.
“The PM has been dealt some tough cards and I support her mission to make the best of them.
“It’s time for evidence, not dogma, to show the way.
“We must act for our country’s best interests, not ideology & populism, or history will judge us harshly.
“Our country deserves no less”
But his comments reportedly sparked fury in Number 10 and Dr Lee is said to have been visited for a stern talking to by the Chief Whip Julian Smith
A Downing Street spokesman said: “’He’s been spoken to by the chief whip.
“He has been reminded he can best air his views in private.
“He was asked to air his views in private in future.”
Following the leak a government source said: “As part of its preparations for leaving the European Union, officials from across Whitehall are undertaking a wide range of ongoing analysis.
“An early draft of this next stage of analysis has looked at different off-the-shelf arrangements that currently exist as well as other external estimates. It does not, however, set out or measure the details of our desired outcome – a new deep and special partnership with the EU – or predict the conclusions of the negotiations.
“It also contains a significant number of caveats and is hugely dependent on a wide range of assumptions which demonstrate that significantly more work needs to be carried out to make use of this analysis and draw out conclusions.”
Yesterday Brexit minister Steve Baker slapped down the Whitehall leak as a plot to ruin Brexit.
Mr Baker attacked previous official forecasts and singled out the Bank of England for peddling ill-founded doom during the referendum campaign.
The Brexit minister, who confirmed a leak inquiry will be held, told MPs during an emergency statement: “The article is a selective interpretation of a preliminary analysis.
“It is an attempt to undermine our exit from the European Union.”
The Prime Minister hammered home to ministers at their weekly Cabinet meeting that the documents were just “initial work, not approved by ministers, and which only considers off-the-shelf scenarios.
“No analysis was made of the bespoke agreement we seek as a matter of Government policy as set out in the Florence speech,” said a Downing Street spokesman.