No-deal Brexit branded 'an absolute disaster' by Tory minister George Freeman

Two weeks on and are we seeing the first ripples of dissent in Boris Johnson's government?

Judging by an interview given by the Transport Minister George Freeman, the answer is yes.

He told a HuffPost podcast that if the UK were to leave the EU with no deal, and continued to trade on WTO terms, it would be an "absolute disaster".

He went on to say the Conservatives could be out of power for two decades as a result - and suggested that a General Election now would be a "huge gamble" because his party had lost so much support to the Liberal Democrats.

He said: "It may be that the last three years have over-stretched the elastic and the Conservative Party will lose many of its professional, public service, commuter moderate centrists to the Lib Dems.

"No one knows, it's a huge gamble."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised the UK will leave the EU on October 31. Credit: PA

Mr Freeman - the man behind the Big Tent Ideas Festival, a cross-party political gathering - is seen as a leading Tory thinker.

He belatedly backed Mr Johnson for the Conservative leadership and was rewarded with a ministerial job.

But his remarks on Friday are completely at odds with Mr Johnson's "do or die" approach to no deal.

He said: "It think it would be an absolute disaster and politically, for my party, would see us out of office for two decades.

"More importantly I think it would be very damaging to the stability of this country."

Mr Freeman later issued this clarification: "We are leaving on October 31st with or without a deal...I firmly support the Prime Minister and his approach."

George Freeman was appearing on HuffPost UK’s Commons People podcast as part of HuffPost UK’s partnership with the Big Tent Ideas festival.