Thursday, 15 November, 2018

United Kingdom junior transport minister quits over 'terrible mistake' of Brexit deal

PATRICK HERTZOG  AFP  Getty Images PATRICK HERTZOG AFP Getty Images
Steven Clarke | 11 November, 2018, 01:46

Mr Johnson, whose bombshell resignation as transport minister took Westminster by surprise, said if other senior Tories followed suit, "good on them".

His comments come the day after Jo Johnson, the pro-European brother of the former foreign secretary and arch-Brexiteer Boris, quit as transport minister saying he couldn't vote for the deal May was negotiating, and called for a second referendum on Brexit.

Johnson - who had backed staying in the European Union in the 2016 referendum - is the younger brother of Boris Johnson, who spearheaded the pro-Brexit campaign and quit as foreign secretary in July over May's Brexit blueprint.

It has gathered support in recent weeks amid increasingly strained relations between Number 10 and the Democratic Unionist Party, who fear Mrs May could agree to a backstop demanded by the European Union which could cut Northern Ireland off from the rest of the United Kingdom in the event of no deal.

"Britain stands on the brink of the greatest crisis since the Second World War".

He described this as "a failure of British statecraft unseen since the Suez crisis" but said even a no-deal Brexit "may well be better than the never-ending purgatory" being put forward by the prime minister.

"It is now my intention to vote against this Withdrawal Agreement".

The terms Theresa May appears to have struck with Brussels would lead to Britain becoming a "vassalage state", Johnson said, or would lead to the United Kingdom crashing out on WTO rules on the other hand.

CC Sabathia to play 1 final Major League Baseball season with Yankees
A right-hander who turns 29 this week, Gray bristled at the rough reception by Yankees fans. "It's not working. He is 129-80 for the Yankees, and his new deal boosts his pay from NY to $229 million over 11 seasons.

"My loyalty to my party is undimmed", Johnson added.

Mr Johnson, younger brother of Boris, used his resignation to call for a second vote, claiming it was now "imperative" to go back to the public to "check they are content" with Mrs May's proposals for Brexit. "But my duty to my constituents and our great nation has forced me to act".

"I think we are at a sensitive point in the negotiations, a successful outcome is not guaranteed but I think it is possible in the next couple of weeks", Varadkar said on Friday (November 9).

"The referendum in 2016 was the biggest democratic exercise in this country's history", the spokesman said.

Speaking to Matt Frei, Stanley Johnson reiterated that Jo resigned because the government is not delivering Brexit and because he can not support the Brexit plan "in honesty".

Johnson is the 14th minister to have resigned from government since November previous year and the most senior to have called for another referendum in his leaving statement.

The departing minister noted Brexit had divided Britain, political parties and "families too", but added: "what is now being proposed won't be anything like what was promised two years ago" during the referendum campaign.

And pro-Remain Conservative Anna Soubry supported his decision and said it was time for another referendum.

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