Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Jo Johnson quits government over Brexit, calling for second referendum

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier addresses the EPP congress in Helsinki EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier addresses the EPP congress in Helsinki
Ellis Copeland | 11 November, 2018, 02:20

"But we are not going to be bounced into another referendum, so that those who lost the previous one can try to apply continued membership of the European Union to the people of Britain in perpetuity".

The resignation is not just significant for the government's immediate plans, but also is yet another vote in parliament that could reject the Brexit plan, leaving the whole project in a crisis without any clear resolution.

Prime Minister Theresa May's government, struggling to deliver Brexit, had argued that whether or not Britain could reverse the decision was immaterial, since the government had no intention of doing so.

"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", he added.

That's why I voted to start the Article 50 process and for two years have backed the prime minister in her efforts to secure the best deal for the country.

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.

Brexit negotiations have put Britain on the brink of the greatest crisis it has faced since the Second World War, Transport Minister Jo Johnson warned in his resignation letter. "There are many Conservative MPs who share Jo Johnson's serious concerns".

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"If these negotiations have achieved little else, they have at least united us in fraternal dismay".

Quitting as a junior transport minister, Johnson called May's Brexit plans delusional and said he could not vote for the deal she is expected to unveil in parliament within weeks.

May has been pushing for a review mechanism since Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab reportedly urged her to insist that London must be able to withdraw from any backstop deal on the Irish border with three months' notice.

Boris Johnson confirmed they were "united in dismay".

Asked whether he believed the British public had changed its view on Brexit, he replied: "I think there's a great deal to suggest that the public are changing their view and that a lot of people now realise that in fact leaving the European Union in the way that it is projected, it's likely to leave us at a disadvantage.

We've been hurtling towards a blindfolded Brexit for too long, so it's about time that politicians hand back control to the people of this country by giving them the final say on Brexit with the option to stay and lead in Europe".

He wrote: "Boundless admiration as ever for my brother Jo".

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