UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has reportedly warned Prime Minister May that her Brexit proposal could leave Britain in a 'Turkey trap', apparently referring to Ankara and Brussels being locked in years-long negotiations on EU membership.
According to details of last week's cabinet meeting seen by The Telegraph, Hunt urged May to make last-minute changes to her besieged Brexit deal to get it through parliament. Otherwise, he claimed, 66 Tory MPs could vote against it.
It is understood that an array of high-profile Brexiteers have shared Hunt's concerns, including environment secretary Michael Gove, leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom, defence secretary Gavin Williamson, transport secretary Chris Grayling, and international development secretary Penny Mordaunt.
Theresa May announced last week that the government had approved a provisional divorce agreement with the EU. The deal has been severely criticised both within the Tory Party and beyond, prompting political turmoil in the cabinet and triggering rumours of a looming no confidence vote.
Dominic Raab, Theresa May's second Brexit Secretary, resigned following the meeting. He was followed by Raymond Chishti, Vice Chairman of the British Conservative Party, and a number of other senior officials.
Theresa May's Brexit deal struck with Brussels involves a number of controversial points, one of which provides for the UK's entering into a potential 'backstop' arrangement post-2021 that would involve continued membership in the EU Customs Union as a means to avoid border checks in Northern Ireland.
There has not been a particular date set for a parliament vote on the deal, but fellow EU nations have been more precise: the European Council will hold a meeting to finalise the agreement on November 25.