Michael Gove has warned Brexiteer Tory backbenchers if they vote against Theresa May’s deal MPs could force a second referendum.
“If we don’t vote for this deal the alternates are no deal or no Brexit,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning.
“There is a real risk if we don’t vote for this deal there may be a majority in the House of Commons for a second referendum.”
The environment secretary warned a no deal Brexit would “cause hurt” and “turbulence”.
Gove, who did not answer when asked if he considered resigning over the deal, admitted he “reflected long and hard” about the plan.
“The deal is imperfect but it is the right thing to do,” he said.
The prime minister is widely expected to lose the Commons vote on her Brexit deal on December 11.
This morning Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said it was “inevitable” that Labour would then call a motion of no confidence in the government.
Also defending the deal today, Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis insisted it was the “only option”.
He told Sky News: “Plan B is plan A – it’s to get this deal agreed.”
May has also been warned she is on course for a huge constitutional row unless the government releases its full legal advice on the Brexit deal.
Labour said it is ready to combine with other opposition parties to start proceedings for contempt of Parliament unless the legal opinion of Attorney General Geoffrey Cox is published in full.
The DUP – which props up the Conservative government in the Commons – was said to be ready to sign a joint letter with other parties to Speaker John Bercow on Monday unless ministers back down.