Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Jo Johnson quits United Kingdom government over 'delusional' Brexit deal

Conservative party MP Jo Johnson leaves 10 Downing street in central London after the first cabinet meeting of the new year following a reshuffle Image Jo Johnson has resigned as a transport minister
Steven Clarke | 10 November, 2018, 12:43

His older brother Boris resigned in July to protest May's Brexit plan - but Boris did so as a staunch support of a hard-line Brexit, while Jo Johnson backed the "remain" side during the June, 2016 referendum.

"We are barrelling towards an incoherent Brexit that is going to leave us trapped in a subordinate relationship to the EU".

"I think it is imperative that we now go back to the people and check that they are content to proceed on this extraordinary basis", he explained.

Johnson said "Britain stands on the brink of the greatest crisis since the Second World War". The Prime Minister thanks Jo Johnson for his work in Government'.

If a deal is voted down by parliament, the country could be thrust into an uncertain future: leaving abruptly without a deal, the collapse of May's government, an election, or, as some opponents of Brexit hope, a new referendum.

He added the alternative of no-deal would "inflict untold damage on our nation".

A Cabinet minister said the plan has been developed to ensure the worst elements of a no-deal Brexit could be eased, but they also pointed out it could be beneficial to the United Kingdom in the long run.

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In marked contrast to his brother, who remains firm that leaving the European Union without a deal would be no bad thing, and resigned because he believed the deal being negotiated was too soft, Mr. Jo Johnson called for a second referendum. The EU insists that a deal must lead to either a soft Brexit for the entire United Kingdom, or a sea border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

He added: "In the sense that if you betray the British people where they no longer believe in democracy... you don't know what the consequences are".

He told the BBC: "When we get the final deal, and it feels like that's not very far away, Cabinet ministers will have to look into their hearts and see whether or not they feel they can support it".

A spokesperson for May's office said later Friday that under no circumstances would a second referendum be held.

Prime Minister Theresa May is reportedly close to securing a divorce deal with Brussels, as time runs out ahead of Britain's planned departure from the European Union on March 29 next year.

While Johnson's resignation is likely to spur critics in the Conservative Party, securing a second referendum would also require support from the Labour Party, which is yet to fully clarify its stance on a referendum and what that could entail in terms of the question put to the public.

"Here is a young politician with everything to gain from staying inside the Government, pursuing his distinguished career, keeping his head down and waiting for events to take their course".

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