Brexit: Labour warn Theresa May’s policy ‘in tatters’ after Eurosceptic MP who tried to block a transition deal appointed to Government

Theresa May’s Brexit policy could be “in tatters” after she appointed to the Government a prominent Eurosceptic MP who tried to block a transition deal, Labour has claimed.

Suella Fernandes, chair of the European Research Group, an influential group of Brexit-backing Conservatives, was made a junior minister at the Department for Exiting the European Union (DexEU) in last week’s reshuffle.

The Fareham MP has risen swiftly through the ranks after only being elected to Parliament in 2015 but her appointment has drawn controversy over her staunch Eurosceptic views.

Last year, Ms Fernandes coordinated a letter from some 40 Tory MPs opposing staying in the single market as part of the transitional deal with the European Union, a move they described as staying in the EU “by stealth”.

The remarks are at odds with the Government’s position, as Ms May backed a transitional deal in a major speech in Florence last year.

Shadow Brexit Minister Paul Blomfield, who has written to Ms Fernandes on the matter, said: “The appointment of Suella Fernandes has left the Government’s Brexit policy in tatters.

“Her previous comments demonstrate that she has no interest in securing a transitional deal with the European Union and in fact actively sought to undermine the Prime Minister’s own negotiating position. She should retract her earlier remarks or step aside.”

The EU’s guidelines on transitional arrangements say that existing rules and regulations would remain the same during any transition period, as the UK was still a member state.

The position sits uneasily with Eurosceptic MPs who favour a hard Brexit and have tried to put pressure on the Government to walk away rather than cave to EU demands.

Ms Fernandes also said leaving the EU without a deal would be “great” for Britain, in article for the grassroots website ConservativeHome.

She said: “In the event of ‘no deal’ that’s great as well for us. The ideal is a…

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