The Cabinet ministers navigating the UK through the Brexit process – Liam Fox, David Davis and Boris Johnson – are like “three blind mice” leading the country to financial ruin, a former Tory minister has said.
Fundamentalist Brexit enthusiasts have been wrongly emboldened by the initial resilience of the British economy and are now guiding the nation towards financial “catastrophe”, according to Nick Herbert, former leader of the Remain campaign.
Mr Herbert said although he agreed the UK must now leave the EU, the hard line Brexiteers making decisions were not to be trusted.
The Conservative MP’s comments were published on the day Theresa May announced her support for a hard Brexit. She also said the negotiations to leave the EU would begin by the end of March.
Opening the Conservative conference in Birmingham on Sunday, Ms May emphasised the importance of immigration control – dashing the hopes of some Conservative MPs that she would put her efforts into negotiating access to the single market.
Writing for The Guardian, Mr Herbert said it was "staggering" how naive Brexit leaders were being about the ease of striking new trade deals.
“Conservatives must beware Brexit fundamentalism, or giving themselves up to a romanticised 1950s vision of Britain, a country of imperialist chauvinism.”
He added: “The so-called ‘three Brexiteers’ have so far rather more resembled three blind mice, stumbling around the world’s capitals with inconsistent messages, united only in their assurance that it will be all right on the night.”
In a speech laden with jokes at the Conservative Party conference, Mr Johnson poked fun at the “gloomadon-poppers” who continued to predict a grim future for the UK after it left the EU.
A fringe event to the Conservative conference hosted around 80 pro-EU Tories vowing to be the “resistance” against the “total recklessness” of a “harsh Brexit”.
It is feared Ms May’s announcement will wrench open divisions within the Tory Party already in existence prior to the referendum.
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