Former foreign secretary David Miliband has used an attack on the ministers spearheading Brexit to call for a second EU referendum.
The Labour ex-frontbencher said “abdicating” all approval for a final exit deal to politicians like Boris Johnson and Liam Fox was “delusional”.
Instead a fresh poll would let voters decide whether to accept or reject the Government’s plan, he wrote in The Observer.
Mr Miliband said he respected last year’s referendum result, but also maintained “democracy did not end on June 23 2016”.
“The referendum will be no excuse if the country is driven off a cliff,” he declared.
Mr Miliband also described Brexit as an “unparalleled act of economic self-harm”.
It comes as Remain-supporting Tory MP Anna Soubry suggested she could quit the party over Theresa May’s approach to Brexit.
“Could I ever see myself joining with like-minded people who want to save our country from such an appalling fate? And has that moment arrived yet?” she wrote in the Mail on Sunday.
“The answer to the first question is ‘it is not impossible’; the answer to the second is ‘no’.
“But I would be betraying my principles if I did not make it clear that country must always come before party.”
Ms Soubry’s defection would chip away at the Conservatives’ already slim majority.
But in a show of strength after a summer dominated by cabinet splits, Chancellor Philip Hammond and International Development Secretary Liam Fox announced there will be a transitional period when Britain finally leaves the UK.
They wrote in The Sunday Telegraph: “We want our economy to remain strong and vibrant through this period of
change. That means businesses need to have confidence that there will not be a cliff-edge when we leave the EU in just over 20 months’ time.
“That is why we believe a time-limited interim period will be important to further our national interest and give business greater certainty – but it cannot be indefinite; it cannot be a back door to staying in the EU.”