Theresa May has been warned she is losing the support of Tory MPs and “millions of voters”, amid suggestions some Cabinet ministers may still resign over the proposed Brexit deal.
The Prime Minister faces opposition from all sides to her plan – not least from hardline eurosceptics in her own party.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, leading Brexiteer backbencher Peter Bone savaged the deal.
“If the media reports about the EU agreement are in any way accurate, you will not be delivering the Brexit people voted for and today you will lose the support of many Conservative MPs and millions of voters across the country,” he said.
The Wellingborough MP had only recently hailed the PM as the “Brexit Queen”, deserving of a statue in her honour.
Tensions were heightened by reports that a senior Brussels negotiator has said the deal will mean the UK aligns its rules with the EU, while Brussels “will retain all the controls”.
May insisted the deal reached by UK and EU negotiators “takes us significantly closer to delivering on what the British people voted for in the referendum”.
The Cabinet meets on Wednesday afternoon at 2pm to sign off on the plan before it is made public.
Brexiteer ministers, including the International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, and the Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey, are seen as the mostly likely to to quit in protest.
The Prime Minister is expected to make a statement in the Commons on Thursday morning.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar confirmed a EU summit had now been pencilled in for 25 November to rubber stamp the agreement.
But even if May does convince her Cabinet to support the deal, her chances of winning a Commons vote currently appear slim.
Jeremy Corbyn is expected to order Labour MPs to vote against it. Speaking during PMQs on Wednesday he blasted the deal as the “worst of all worlds” that was a “failure in its own terms”.
The Northern Irish DUP, which props up May’s minority government, on Wednesday said it would vote against the deal.
The Tory Brexiteer European Research Group (ERG) of MPs has claimed an “irreducible core” of 40 members are also certain to vote against the PM.