A senior Tory MP has said some of his colleagues have become “unhinged” amid the “general hysteria” over Brexit.
Former attorney general Dominic Grieve, who opposed Brexit before the referendum, was among those labelled a “mutineer” on the front page of The Telegraph this week for preparing to vote against a government amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill which would see the UK’s Brexit date enshrined in law.
Anna Soubry, one of the MPs pictured labelled it “bullying” and later said she had received threats after it was published.
Grieve said he did not oppose Brexit but he and others in the party were seeking “sensible compromises” with amendments to the bill.
“Instead of having a rational debate, they’re denounced as traitors, mutineers, whatever it is,” Grieve said.
“We can try to improve the legislation... What’s been curious about this process is that we’re living in such a hysterical atmosphere over Brexit, the moment you try to do this, it’s alleged against you you are trying to undermine Brexit,” he told John Pienaar on BBC Five Live on Sunday.
“I do sometimes think that some of my colleagues have become unhinged actually.”
He added he was not including the prime minister.
“This is all part of the general hysteria which seems to be developing around Brexit.”
He also said the Government’s attempt to write the date of Brexit in March 2019 was “a completely goofy amendment”, adding it “could prevent us achieving the best possible Brexit by bringing down the guillotine”.
“My feeling is the government does not have a majority to get this through the House of Commons,” he said.
“We’re providing extraordinary powers to government... to change the law by ministerial decree.”