Sunday, 17 February, 2019


Jo Johnson quits Government over ‘incoherent, unacceptable’ Brexit

Jo Johnson arrives at 10 Downing Street Jo Johnson arrives at 10 Downing Street Credit Peter Nicholls Reuters
Bennie Garza | 10 November, 2018, 14:29

The former transport minister accused the Brexit campaign - which was led, in part, by his brother Boris - of offering the public "a false prospectus" that bears little resemblance to the reality of the deal that the prime minister is to present to parliament.

Arguing Britain was "on the brink of the greatest crisis" since World War Two, he said what was on offer wasn't "anything like what was promised".

Mr Johnson, like his brother Boris, resigned from the Government in belief Theresa May's deal would keep the United Kingdom under the same current European Union rulebook on trade deals no longer having a say on future regulations it would have to abide by.

This is despite the fact he reportedly wrote the 2015 election manifesto for the Tory party promising to "honour the result of the [2016] referendum, whatever the outcome".

'It has become increasingly clear to me that the withdrawal agreement, which is being finalised in Brussels and Whitehall even as I write, will be a awful mistake, ' said Jo Johnson in an online article sent to journalists.

For good measure he added that Mrs May's handling of Brexit "is a failure of British statecraft on a scale unseen since the Suez crisis".

Jo Johnson, younger brother of former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, said the withdrawal agreement being discussed by European Union and British leaders would greatly weaken Britain and require the country to follow European Union rules without having any say.

Jo Johnson has signalled that more ministers may be poised to quit over Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plans.

Leading Tory Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg rejected calls for a second referendum, but told the BBC he agreed with criticism of the deal. Theresa May has said the withdrawal deal was 95 percent done - but there was no agreement yet on how to guarantee no hard border in Northern Ireland.

"I think that MPs, MEPs too. will be looking at what that deal says", the Cabinet Office minister said.

"The referendum in 2016 was the biggest democratic exercise in this country's history", the spokesman said. He said: "I think a second referendum would be divisive, but it wouldn't be decisive. The PM thanks Jo Johnson for his work in government".

Cabinet ministers have been visiting 10 Downing St this week to see details of the government's plan for the "divorce deal" and subsequent trading and customs relationship with the EU.

The Northern Irish DUP - who May relies on for her parliamentary majority - has criticised the government's proposed plan, saying it could allow Northern Ireland to be separated from the UK.

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