BOURNEMOUTH East MP Tobias Ellwood has been named as one of a group of ministers who would be prepared to quit within days if the prime minister does not rule out a no-deal Brexit.

A report by ITV’s political editor Robert Peston said nine ministers had met Theresa May and told her she must ask the European Union to delay Brexit if a deal is not reached by March 29.

The report claimed the ministers, including four members of the cabinet, would otherwise be prepared to sacrifice their jobs by backing an amendment which would force Mrs May to seek a delay if a deal was not passed in time. The approach has been promoted by Labour's Yvette Cooper and West Dorset Conservative MP Oliver Letwin.

Mr Ellwood said he had not met the prime minister over the issue and was in Parliament when a meeting with junior ministers was reported to have happened.

But he said: “No deal would be an act of self-harm and it would damage our economy and security and indeed our international reputation.

“I don’t recall no-deal, moving to World Trade Organisation terms, being the favoured option of the referendum result. It’s important we recognise that must be taken off the table if the prime minister’s deal is not secured.”