LIAM Fox has said he sympathises with Tories who are considering voting for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in the Euro elections.
He insisted he would be campaigning for Conservative candidates the election is about “more than one issue”.
But he said voters were right to feel frustrated for having to take part in the European Parliament elections three years after voting for Brexit.
Asked if he sympathised with the many Tory supporters considering voting for the Brexit Party, Mr Fox told The Sun: “Do I sympathise with voters who are being asked to go out and vote for a candidate or an institute they already voted to leave and who may never actually take their seats, well, who isn’t going to sympathise?”
Former Tory chief whip Mark Harper also sympathised with Tory voters wooed by Mr Farage.
In an interview with the House magazine he said: “I can completely understand why people who have voted for us regularly might not vote for us.
He predicted the Conservatives were heading for their worst result in a national election, adding: “The reason why they’ve got some traction is basically we made a clear promise to people and we haven’t delivered it.”
Meanwhile Mr Fox also revealed that he ordered his International Trade Department to step up no deal preparations this week amid increasing pessimism that MPs will back a Brexit deal in time for October.
The Cabinet Minister said his officials have intensified talks to roll-over the EU’s 40 trade deals and have also stepped up their work to set up the new Trade Remedies Authority that will rule over trade disputes such as Chinese steel dumping.
Mr Fox said: “My department stepped up no deal preparations again this week.”
Explaining his decision he added: “There’s this view that Parliament can’t allow no deal to happen, but the European Union may decide that it’s had enough of us come October and no deal would happen.
“So it’s only responsible for us to maintain the preparations for a no deal exit until or some time we achieve something else.”