THERESA May’s government is on the brink of collapse, with around a dozen ministers ready to quit, according to the former attorney general Dominic Grieve.

The staunchly pro-EU Tory backbench MP claimed that at least six of those were in the cabinet.

Incredibly, the Tory leadership seem remarkably unconcerned at the prospect.

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“Resignations from Government do happen,” Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, told the BBC.

There was talk too of Labour MPs leaving in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s position on Brexit. The party’s former shadow secretary of state for Scotland, Ian Murray, said he was being “pushed to the brink”.

The Prime Minister will likely head to Brussels next week, where she will try and convince the other EU leaders that she can get the Brexit deal through parliament, despite Thursday night’s humiliating and unexpected defeat at the hands of her own MPs.

There were reports yesterday that her Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay has given up on plans to have the Withdrawal Agreement of May’s deal re-negotiated.

Those were denied by Number 10, but at best, May seems likely to get little more than “legal assurances” that the backstop would be “temporary”.

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That seems unlikely to be enough for the Brexiteer European Research Group (ERG) of Tory backbench MPs who inflicted the defeat of May on Thursday by abstaining from the vote.

ERG deputy chairman, Steve Baker, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Were this deal to pass through Parliament with this backstop on Labour votes, the Government would subsequently collapse because the DUP would not be able to maintain confidence and supply.”

Grieve, appearing on the same show, said if May kowtowed to Baker and the ERG then she would be making a no-deal Brexit more likely.

The National: former attorney general Dominic Grieveformer attorney general Dominic Grieve

This, he said, would infuriate members of her own government: “My understanding is that many [ministers] have made representations directly to the Prime Minister indicating their concern and telling the Prime Minister that, if by the end of February there is no deal that has been got through the Commons, we ought to extend.

“If the Prime Minister refuses to do that, I think they face a very difficult choice, because unless we as a Parliament and as the House of Commons start to work together to take the necessary steps to prevent no-deal happening, no-deal could just occur. It could all be so chaotic, it might just happen by accident.

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“My view is that if they feel she is not taking those steps, I think they are going to have to resign.”

Andrea Leadsom told Today: “Resignations from Government do happen ... People have very, very strong, heartfelt views about leaving the EU or remaining within it. That is a matter for them as individuals.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour’s Murray told BBC2’s Politics Live that “a lot” of his party’s MPs are “fed up” with the leadership position on Brexit and on anti-Semitism.

He added: “It’s not just Labour MPs who are being played for fools, it’s the country and Labour Party members and supporters."

He accused both Corbyn and May of “pandering to the extreme wings of their own parties”.

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“At some point someone is going to have to stand up and do what is in the national interest, and neither leader of any party at the moment is doing that.

“If our leaders can’t stand up for our national interest, then they can’t have our support.”

Asked if he could quit Labour, he replied: “I’ve never considered that, but we are all being pushed to the brink with the issues around Brexit and the issues around anti-Semitism.”

He rejected suggestions he is being disloyal to Corbyn.

“My loyalty is to my constituents and to the Labour Party, who want us to move to this position that they democratically agreed,” said Murray. “I don’t believe in blind loyalty.”