Boris Johnson has promised to treat hardline Leavers who oppose any new Brexit deal the same as anti-no deal rebels by sacking them from the Conservative party.
The prime minister has said he will remove the Tory whip and bar from standing for re-election any MP who votes against the government in crunch votes to block a no-deal Brexit this week.
The threat, made to try and avoid losing control of the Commons to anti-no deal MPs, prompted criticism from within his own cabinet from Amber Rudd.
The work and pensions secretary urged Johnson to “think very carefully about taking such a dramatic step” and to treat Tory Brexiteers who oppose any future UK-EU deal in the same way.
In response to Tory Huw Merriman in the Commons, Johnson confirmed the same rules would apply.
“I think you can take it that... what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,” the prime minister said.
Merriman had asked: “In order to get the leverage to get this great deal through that the prime minister is working on he has said that any (MP) on these benches who doesn’t vote tonight in support of the government will lose the whip and indeed not be able to stand again as a Conservative MP.
“Working on that basis in the event that a deal is reached, which I very much hope there will be, will that treatment apply to those MPs who don’t vote for his great deal?”
Johnson is battling to keep alive his plan to renegotiate the Brexit deal in time to leave the EU on the October 31 withdrawal deadline.
MPs are tonight attempting to seize control of the Commons to pass legislation to block a no-deal Brexit, a move Johnson says will wreck his negotiating position and force him into trying to call a general election.