Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Jo Johnson quits government over Brexit, calling for second referendum

Jo Johnson has called for a second referendum Jo Johnson has called for a second referendum
Pablo Mccormick | 10 November, 2018, 02:55

"It has become increasingly clear to me that the withdrawal agreement, which is being finalised. will be a awful mistake", Jo Johnson wrote in a stinging resignation statement.

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.

Mr Johnson said that he had supported Brexit after the 2016...

"I hope and I believe that we can secure that majority in Parliament for the agreement", he said.

"I think then people will need to ask themselves what is it that is going to be in the best interests of those who sent them to Westminster to represent them, to ensure that we maintain living standards and investment and prosperity and employment in our country", Lidington added.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said the Prime Minister appeared "wedded to the idea of a border down the Irish Sea" despite Downing Street's repeated assurances to the contrary.

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Johnson is the 14th minister to have resigned from government since November a year ago.

The DUP, whose 10 MPs May relies on for her majority, has suggested it could vote down the deal if it fears it could result in new customs or regulatory checks between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

"There's a widening gap between those politicians who believe the government's bad Brexit deal is what this country should accept, and those who believe we can do so much better at the forefront of the European Union and the world".

Jo Johnson, who has been involved in planning trade borders in the event of a no-deal, said the only outcomes from the withdrawal agreement now on the table are European Union vassalage or the "chaos" of a no-deal exit.

'To do anything less will do grave damage to our democracy'.

Mr Johnson also joined other senior Tories, such as former education secretary Justine Greening and ex-business minister Anna Soubry, to demand a second referendum.

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His brother Boris Johnson whose promises in the Brexit campaign Jo may well have been referring to, praised Jo's resignation, saying they were "united in dismay" at the PM's handling of the negotiations.

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.

Johnson slammed Theresa May's proposals, writing: "My brother Boris... recently observed that the proposed arrangements were "substantially worse than staying in the EU".

For Labour, Shadow Brexit Minister Jenny Chapman said Mrs May had "lost all authority and is incapable of negotiating a Brexit deal within her own party, let alone with the EU". On that he is unquestionably right.

Giving his response on Twitter, Boris wrote: "Boundless admiration as ever for my brother Jo".

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