Saturday, 15 December, 2018


United Kingdom junior transport minister quits over 'terrible mistake' of Brexit deal

Jo Johnson visits the the European Commission in Brussels Jo Johnson visits the the European Commission in Brussels. AP
Bennie Garza | 11 November, 2018, 22:01

Jo Johnson, who campaigned for Remain, said his brother, Boris, the prominent pro-Brexit campaigner and former foreign secretary who resigned several months ago, was "as unhappy with the government's proposals as I am".

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

If a deal is voted down by parliament, the country could be thrust into an uncertain future: leaving abruptly without a deal, the collapse of May's government, an election, or, as some opponents of Brexit hope, a new referendum.

Speaking of his brother, Jo Johnson acknowledged that the Brexit negotiations "have at least united us in fraternal dismay".

Cabinet ministers have been invited this week to read the UK's draft withdrawal deal with the EU. What we can do is recognise the reasons why people voted leave.

Chris Leslie, another Labour MP, called for the public to have the final choice and accused Corbyn of a "dereliction of duty".

The transport minister Jo Johnson has resigned from the government over Brexit.

A well-respected and liked member of the government, he has decided that what was promised to people during the referendum campaign is now so different to what is on the table that he has quit the government instead. If it's defeated, it means they've got a choice - either go back and negotiate something better or resign. But to leave at this moment, right when Theresa May is trying to stitch together a final deal, could have a serious impact.

"I believe it is entirely right to go back to the people and ask them to confirm their decision to leave the European Union and, if they choose to do that, to give them the final say on whether we leave with the prime minister's deal or without it", he said in a blog post he published after announcing his resignation.

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. I have never rebelled on any issue before now.

In response, a Downing Street spokesman said: "The referendum in 2016 was the biggest democratic exercise in this country's history". The development comes a day after Jo Johnson quit as transport minister.

Boris Johnson was one of the most prominent and influential of the Brexit advocates.

Shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith was similarly supportive of the Labour leader, telling Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme when asked if her party could stop Brexit that it is "committed to getting a Brexit that works".

However, there are concerns that a second referendum could embolden the far-right in the United Kingdom, while Eurosceptics point to examples where votes within EU member states rejecting greater federalism and austerity have been overturned in what they say is yet more evidence that there is a "democrat deficit" within the union.

His sister, Rachel Johnson, 53, is also, like Jo, a remainer.

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