A veteran Conservative MP has called on the Prime Minister to “consider her position and to do so with dignity and without rancour” over her Brexit deal vote.
Sir Bill Cash argued it was “time to walk away from the intransigence of the EU and our failed policy”.
Speaking in the Commons, the MP for Stone said he believed Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement “will be consigned to the grave of history”, adding Mrs May’s deal was “not compromise as the Attorney General suggested, it is capitulation….we are defending our democracy against servitude”.
He said: “Far from MPs, as the Prime Minister has asserted, voting for this agreement it is our duty to vote against it.”
Supporting the deal he argued would undermine the Westminster system of government, depriving the country of “monumental opportunities of global trading on our own terms and with our friends in the United States who are so disillusioned with this agreement”.
He added: “I would strongly urge the Government, therefore, after this vote is cast tonight to conclude that enough is enough and that we have reached the journey’s end.
“Now is the time to walk away from the intransigence of the EU and our failed policy of seeking to supplicate their guidelines, their terms and their paymasters.
“We witnessed similar events in May 1940 when the then prime minister actually won the vote on the Norway debate but on reflection concluded that he had to resign because he had lost the confidence of Parliament as a whole.
“I believe,therefore, there are lessons in this for the Prime Minister to consider her position and to do so with dignity and without rancour.”
Father of the House and Tory Remainer Ken Clarke said he was being “pragmatic” in supporting the Withdrawal Agreement “to minimise the damage” of Brexit.
The MP for Rushcliffe said: “The vote on invoking Article 50 revealed to me there is not the slightest chance of persuading the present House of Commons to give up leaving the EU because they’re terrified of denying the EU referendum.
“To be fair to my friends, who are hardline Brexiteers and always have been, none of them had the slightest intention of taking any notice of the referendum.
“But it is now a kind of religiously binding commitment it seems to the majority of this House that we must leave, so we are leaving.”
Former chancellor Mr Clarke accused arch-Brexiteers of “paranoia” over claims the Irish backstop is some sort of plot to prevent Brexit.
He suggested the UK should revoke Article 50 “as a means of delay”, saying there is not time to get all the necessary legislation through Parliament to exit the EU on March 29.
Tory former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab said Mrs May’s deal was a compromise too far.
He said: “I’ve always understood the case for compromise but compromise cannot come at any price.
“The deal before us involves the most severe and enduring risk for our economy our democracy, while stifling the opportunities of Brexit that fired up over 17 million with optimism and hope to vote in June 2016.”
Mr Raab said the best alternative was a no-deal Brexit, leaving on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms.
“This deal is so demeaning to our country it would inevitably invite, no demand, reversal by the British people from the moment the ink was dry,” he said.
“It would torment us for the foreseeable future.
“If this deal is voted down we should make our best final offer, including an ability to exit the backstop and transition to a best in class free trade agreement and at the same time we must accelerate our preparations for leaving on WTO terms in case all reasonable offers are rebuffed in Brussels.”