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UK lawmakers in ruling party back group pushing for 'hard Brexit'

Open Britain, which was formed by those who campaigned for Britain to remain in the bloc, said leaving the EU with no trade deal was 'the biggest threat our economy faces'. In photo: A man joining a pro-Brexit counter protest on September 3, 2016. Photograph: (AFP)

Reuters London, England Sep 18, 2016, 11.25 AM (IST)

Senior members of Britain's ruling Conservative Party are supporting a new group to push Britain for a 'hard Brexit', media reported on Sunday.

Property investor Richard Tice told the Sunday Telegraph, ''No deal is better than a bad deal." He said that leaving the European Union and its single market without an alternative deal is better than staying and signing a bad deal.

Tice said the Britons had clearly voted in June to leave the European Union (EU) and 'the sooner we leave the more certainty and confidence for everyone'.

"Working people will hope Number 10 rejects this approach and instead seeks membership of the single market, which is vital for jobs and growth," Conservative lawmaker and supporter of Open Britain, Anna Soubry, said in a statement.

The group had the backing of a former justice minister, Dominic Raab, and other leading Conservatives, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

'Change Britain', a group including people who were in the Leave campaign, was launched last week and endorsed by foreign secretary Borish Johnson.

May, who was appointed prime minister shortly after the referendum, is expected to trigger Article 50 which would start the process of Brexit early next year. She has said that she needed time to form an exit policy.

The divisions in the Conservative Party over how to negotiate the Brexit are coming to the fore as some within the party push for a soft process while others want a clean speedy break from the EU.

Nicky Morgan, a Conservative former education secretary, said that splits in the ruling party was "absolutely inevitable".

"Well it was absolutely inevitable that there were going to those on the 'leave' side of the debate who would say that any government is not going to go hard enough and fast enough and would set up a group to do that," she told ITV's Peston on Sunday programme. She said that the government needed to say 'this is what the plan is, this is where we want to get to'.

(WION with inputs from Reuters)

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