Jo Johnson quits and calls for a second referendum

Clay Curtis
November 11, 2018

But he said a second referendum is "not the way forward and is not supported by the public".

"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.

Jenny Chapman, Shadow Brexit Minister, said: "Jo Johnson is the eighteenth minister to resign from Theresa May's government". 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.

'It is now my intention to vote against this Withdrawal Agreement.

The ex-transport minister said: "Hopes for the easiest deal in history have proved to be delusions".

The Tory MP, who headed Parliament's fight to give MPs the final say on Theresa May's Brexit deal at the end of the negotiations, claimed Parliament could impose a proposal to extend Article 50 at the end of the negotiations in case MPs voted down the deal reached by the Prime Minister with Brussels.

We may not have agreed about Brexit but we are united in dismay at the intellectually and politically indefensible of the UK position.

Jo Johnson said the choice being offered was between a "travesty of Brexit" under the deal being thrashed out by the Prime Minister and the European Union, or the "untold damage" of a no-deal Brexit.

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Johnson said the mooted deal had united him in "fraternal dismay" with his Brexit-backing brother Boris saying he could not support May's Chequers strategy.

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.

In a long statement, the former rail minister, who voted to remain in the 2016 referendum, said: 'I have today written to the Prime Minister asking her to accept my resignation from the Government.

"I'm optimistic Britain and the European Union will reach a breakthrough in Brexit negotiations in the near future", he said, adding that constructive talks on questions of detail made him feel upbeat.

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.

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

As campaigners step up pressure on the government calling for the public to be given another say on Brexit, the opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn dashed campaigners' hopes he could back another referendum.

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