LONDON - British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party faces a "catastrophic split" if she persists with her so-called Chequers proposals on Brexit and 80 or more of her lawmakers are prepared to vote against the proposals, a former junior minister said.

Steve Baker, a former junior Brexit minister who resigned over May's Brexit proposals, told the Press Association that he was not advocating a change of leader but warned May faced a massive problem at the Sept. 30-Oct. 3 party conference.

"If we come out of conference with her hoping to get Chequers through on the back of Labour votes, I think the EU negotiators would probably understand that if that were done, the Tory party would suffer the catastrophic split which thus far we have managed to avoid," Baker was quoted as saying.