Friday, 16 November, 2018

Jo Johnson quits as minister over Brexit

PATRICK HERTZOG  AFP  Getty Images PATRICK HERTZOG AFP Getty Images
Pablo Mccormick | 11 November, 2018, 01:46

To give the public a choice between these two disastrous versions of Brexit would be a "failure of British statecraft on a scale unseen since the Suez crisis", he said, referencing the 1956 conflict against Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser that is widely seen as marking the moment at which Britain formally lost its imperial role in the world.

Theresa May's fragile government faced a fresh blow last night when Transport Minister Jo Johnson quit, branding the Prime Minister's Brexit plans "incoherent" and a "con".

Johnson, who campaigned for Britain to stay in the European Union in the 2016 referendum, follows his elder sibling Boris - who spearheaded the pro-Brexit camp and quit as foreign secretary in July over Prime Minister Theresa May's plans - out of government over the divisive issue.

On Friday the DUP, whose support Theresa May relies on for votes in the Commons, said they can not support any deal which included the possibility that Northern Ireland would be treated differently from the rest of the UK.

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Serious impact?Image copyright PA Image caption Mr Johnson was elected MP for Orpington in 2010 and was made transport minister in January. The better alternative, he believes, is to have another vote on whether the people want to actually leave now when they know the cost they will have to pay. My loyalty to the party is undimmed.

As campaigners step up pressure on the government calling for the public to be given another say on Brexit, the opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn dashed campaigners' hopes he could back another referendum.

"This prospect alone would be a resigning matter for me as a constituency MP, but it is just a facet of a far greater problem facing the nation". It was unclear whether others would follow Johnson out of government.

"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).

EU Brexit envoy says ‘much more work’ needed to clinch deal
The global trade secretary said on Thursday the government had "an instruction from our voters to leave the EU". Tory Remainer Dominic Grieve said a border in the Irish Sea would be "unacceptable".

Downing Street thanked him for his work but continued to insist there was no prospect of another referendum "under any circumstances".

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

"This is a fascinating situation in which Jo and his sister are united in opposing their brother Boris and his Brexit plans".

The deal being negotiated with Europe by the government - dubbed the "Chequers Deal" - would leave Britain economically weakened with no say in European Union rules it would have to adhere to for years, while a "no deal" scenario would inflict damage on the country. He said in its current form it would not have enough Conservative support to get through a vote in parliament.

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