Furious Tory donor threatens to withdraw his funds if Britain pulls out of the EU's single market

A FURIOUS Tory donor is threatening to withdraw his financial support if Britain pulls out of the EU’s single market.

Sir Andrew Cook, who has given more than £1.2million to the party, told Prime Minister Theresa May he would find it impossible to continue if the pullout went ahead.

The steel firm boss’s intervention has raised concerns rich donors will withdraw cash if the PM pursues a hard Brexit.

It came as another unnamed key Tory backer hinted last night that he was experiencing “donor fatigue”.

The PM could now risk losing significant support in the City and industry.


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Some business leaders are pressing ministers for a soft Brexit — giving Britain access to the single market in return for payment and a free movement compromise.

Sir Andrew said the country would “sleepwalk to disaster” if it sacrificed single market membership as the price for controlling EU migration.

The Remainer, 67, whose family’s wealth is estimated at £80million, said: “The economic arguments of staying in the single market are overwhelming.

“I have yet to see any plausible alternative arguments being put forward to leaving the single market.

“The political tail is wagging the economic dog.

“There appears to be a willingness to consider the sacrifice of withdrawal from the single market, which I believe will be a catastrophe.”

He said at least one of his factories is almost entirely dependent on European market access.

On supporting the Tory party should it back leaving the single market, Sir Andrew said: “I’d find it impossible under those circumstances.”

He said it was “very difficult to make a political donation” when his interests clash with the principal Brexiteers.

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