Tory MPs had announced they would vote against the deal

88 Tory MPs had announced they would vote against the deal

Brexiteers lined up to attack Theresa May‘s deal with Brussels last night as it emerged more than half her backbenchers intend to vote against it.

Senior Tories including Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab criticised the ‘political declaration’ on post-Brexit relations which was published yesterday.

But most of the anger focused on the so-called ‘backstop’ which keeps the UK in a customs union with the EU to prevent the return of a hard border in Northern Ireland.

Last night a total of 88 Tory MPs had announced they would vote against the deal – more than half the party’s backbenchers. In a fiery Commons debate, former foreign secretary Mr Johnson insisted Mrs May’s proposals to avoid a hard border made a ‘complete nonsense of Brexit’.

Boris Johnson (pictured in the Commons yesterday) said the inclusion of an Irish border backstop that would lash the UK to EU rules 'makes a complete nonsense of Brexit'

Boris Johnson (pictured in the Commons yesterday) said the inclusion of an Irish border backstop that would lash the UK to EU rules ‘makes a complete nonsense of Brexit’

And Mr Raab, who resigned as Brexit secretary last week, said the Prime Minister’s agreement contradicted the will of the people by giving away even more power over laws.

But a string of Tory MPs stood up for Mrs May, with one saying her deal was one ‘few may love but most could live with’.

The Prime Minister also had to fend off repeated calls for a second referendum, mainly from the Labour benches but also from her own. Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday that the UK could still be tied to EU rules and be made to pay into Brussels’ coffers until the end of 2022 – more than six years after the referendum.

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