Jo Johnson Resigns And Backs Second Brexit Referendum

Jo Johnson Resigns And Backs Second Brexit Referendum

Britain's transport minister Jo Johnson on Friday resigned from Prime Minister Theresa May's government in opposition to a looming Brexit deal and called for a second referendum on leaving the EU.

The Remain-supporting brother of Boris Johnson said Britain now "stands on the brink of the greatest crisis since the Second World War" with Mrs May about to present MPs with a choice between "vassalage and chaos".

"My brother Boris, who led the "Leave" campaign, is as unhappy with the government's proposals as I am", Jo Johnson said.

He said the United Kingdom was "barrelling towards an incoherent Brexit that is going to leave us trapped in a subordinate relationship to the EU", adding it was "imperative" to "go back to the people and check they are content to proceed on this extraordinary basis".

Quitting as 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. And the DUP leader said her party could not support Theresa May's current position.

The former Remainer has been unable to embrace the possibilities offered by a clean "No Deal" Brexit in which Britain would deal with the European Union as a third country on standard World Trade Organisation terms, however, claiming this would mean "chaos".

The brother of former foreign secretary Boris said: "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".

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He said: "The first option is the one the government is proposing: an agreement that will leave our country economically weakened, with no say in the European Union rules it must follow and years of uncertainty for business".

However he emphasised that a "no deal" Brexit, which the government insists is the only other option, would mean "chaos" that would cause disruption, delay and deep damage to the United Kingdom economy.

His departure spells trouble for the prime minister's hopes of getting her deal through parliament.

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The referendum in 2016 was the biggest democratic exercise in this country's history". "To do anything less will do grave damage to our democracy". The Prime Minister thanks Jo Johnson for his work in Government'.

"This is the time for all of them, as Jo Johnson has done, to look deep inside their consciences, to reflect deeply on their responsibilities, and do the right thing for future generations".

Labour said the resignation - the 18th during the PM's tenure - showed May had lost authority and could not negotiate Brexit.

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

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