In an astonishing attack on the ERG group led by Jacob Rees Mogg, the former Tory chairman said no deal the PM struck would ever be acceptable to the party’s “Maoists”.
And he urged the PM to instead focus on building a consensus with like-minded MPs in Labour and other parties.
Speaking to the BBC, the peer said: “It is impossible to get a deal on the European Union which is in the national interest but satisfies the Maoists in the Conservative Party.
“They have been working away like rodents in a basement for years, to nibble away at the foundations of our relationship with the EU.
“They are not going to accept anything which is reasonable.”
He added the arch-Brexiteers wouldn’t know about trading on WTO terms if “they were bitten on the backside by them”.
He said that while he was sure the PM was working “honourably” to do the right thing, her deal was a failure – “If you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig”.
The blast comes just days after the Chancellor was forced to apologise for saying the no confidence vote in Theresa May was a chance to flush out the Brexit “extremists”.
Lord Patten – a former European Commissioner – said Philip Hammond’s remarks were an “understatement”.
Ex-Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith stormed: “If all they have got is abuse then they have the lost the argument.
“Chris Patten never told the truth about the European project and now the people know they want to leave.”
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