Tobias Ellwood at conference

Defence Minister Pledges To Stop No-Deal Brexit

Tory leadership contenders Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt have pledged to leave the EU on 31 October with or without a deal.

Tobias Ellwood at conference

Tobias Ellwood told Forces News earlier this year he will resign from the Government if the Britain leaves the European Union with no deal (Picture: MOD).

Defence minister Tobias Ellwood has told the BBC "a dozen or so" Conservative MPs are prepared to bring down their own government to stop a no-deal Brexit.

The rebels would include ministers as well as backbenchers, Mr Ellwood claimed, in a stark warning to the Tory leadership contenders who have kept the option of a no-deal Brexit on the table.

He said they could withhold support in a vote of no-confidence, paving the way for a general election.

Both remaining Tory leadership contenders, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, have pledged to leave the EU on the 31st of October with or without a deal.  

Mr Ellwood's warning adds to that made by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who suggested Tory MPs could push their next leader out of office if they pursue no deal.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "If the new Prime Minister announces taking the country on a magical mystery tour towards an October 31 crash-out, I don't think that Prime Minister is going to survive very long.

"Of course, the Prime Minister could exercise his absolute right of then going to the country and having a general election.

"But that is likely to be catastrophic for the future of the Conservative Party."

Mr Ellwood told Forces News in January he will resign from the government if Britain leaves the European Union with no deal.