Sunday, 18 November, 2018

United Kingdom may not get Brexit deal says trade secretary Liam Fox

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
Rhonda Young | 11 November, 2018, 02:14

The junior transport minister - and younger brother of former foreign minister Boris Johnson - issued a searing critique of May's Brexit deal on Friday when he unexpectedly quit, saying the country needed to pull back from the brink and have a second referendum on leaving the EU.

Robin Walker told the Funke group of newspapers that Brexit negotiations were progressing in a constructive manner and that there was agreement on more than 95 percent of the deal.

Jo Johnson's resignation, and his call for a fresh referendum to test voter sentiment, further complicates matters for May as she tries to strike a deal with European Union leaders that would pass muster with her own cabinet and win backing in Parliament.

He offered a scathing critique of the Prime Minister's Brexit plan as he announced his exit, and suggested that others could be deciding whether to take a similar stand.

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Speaking a day after Jo Johnson quit the government and called for a fresh vote on Brexit, Fox said Johnson was an excellent transport minister.

Mr Johnson's sister Rachel said she was "hugely proud" of her "honourable and principled brother Jo who has put the interests of the country ahead of his political career".

"Theresa May is in office, but not in power".

The referendum, he said, should have three choices, endorse Ms May's deal, leave without a deal, or remain in the EU.

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"Given that the reality of Brexit has turned out to be so far from what was once promised, the democratic thing to do is to give the public the final say", Jo Johnson said.

"In the campaign there were undoubtedly promises made that were shown to be undeliverable - no one can dispute that", Johnson said, pointing to the vision of a low-tax, pro-business, Singapore-style economy on the edge of Europe.

He insisted that the the United Kingdom must be able to make the judgement alone, deeming a decision between Dublin and the European Union a failure to deliver "instruction from our voters" given by the referendum.

She said: "Huge respect for Jo Johnson".

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