Brexiteer Ross Thomson will not send in a letter demanding a vote of no confidence in the prime minister – but said he would find it difficult to back her should the occasion arise.
The Aberdeen South MP told the Press and Journal “she is leaving me more than I’m leaving her” as he condemned the draft Brexit divorce deal.
He said a leadership election would not be “particularly useful”, adding: “I don’t think the country would have the appetite for it and it’s a Cabinet government after all, not just the prime minister.”
But – reiterating concerns related to fishing and Northern Ireland – he continued: “I’m not backing the deal. I have backed the prime minister throughout the negotiations, I have supported her, I wanted her to do well.
“I can’t vote for what she has proposed.”
Asked if he would support a vote of no confidence if one is called, he said he would “need to hear what she had to say”.
But he added: “In that hypothetical scenario, given I can’t back her deal, I don’t think I would have the confidence to back her.
“If I can’t back her deal, I can’t have that much confidence.
“I feel at the moment that she is leaving me more than I’m leaving her.”
Asked if he would find it difficult to back her in the event of a vote, he replied: “Yes.”
On fishing, former Aberdeen city councillor Mr Thomson said taking back control meant “us deciding, just like every other coastal state, who fishes in our waters, when and what they are fishing”.
He added: “It’s not to say there will never be any vessels from Europe in our waters. In fact it’s quite the opposite. There will be and they will be doing it on our terms.”