Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Transport minister Jo Johnson resigns over Brexit

Transport minister Jo Johnson resigns over Brexit

The deal being negotiated with Europe by the government - dubbed the "Chequers Deal" - would leave Britain economically weakened with no say in European Union rules it would have to adhere to for years, while a "no deal" scenario would inflict damage on the country.

But while Jo Johnson called Theresa May's Brexit strategy "a failure of British statecraft unseen since the Suez crisis" and being bound by European Union rules with no say a "never-ending purgatory", he mocked his brother's suggestion that a no deal Brexit would be a realistic option, adding: "inflicting such serious economic and political harm on the country will leave an indelible impression of incompetence in the minds of the public".

If the Prime Minister agreed to such a plan DUP MPs would vote against the deal in Parliament, senior members of the party have warned, making it nearly impossible for Mrs May to win enough support for it to pass.

The terms Theresa May appears to have struck with Brussels would lead to Britain becoming a "vassalage state", Johnson said, or would lead to the United Kingdom crashing out on WTO rules on the other hand.

Johnson's statement was published after May spent much of the day in France and Belgium, laying wreaths alongside fellow leaders to mark the centenary of the Armistice.

A spokesperson for May's office said later Friday that under no circumstances would a second referendum be held.

It added: "The prime minister thanks Jo Johnson for his work in government".

The shadow Brexit minister, Jenny Chapman, said: "Jo Johnson is the 18th minister to resign from Theresa May's government".

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The resignation of such a high-profile figure, just days after Britain suggested it was close to a deal is seen as hugely significant. potentially leading to other Conservative MPs and Ministers speaking out in favour of a second referendum.

Cabinet ministers have been invited this week to read the UK's draft withdrawal deal with the EU. "To do anything less will do grave damage to our democracy".

Boris congratulated him on his decision via Twitter.

"I think then people will need to ask themselves what is it that is going to be in the best interests of those who sent them to Westminster to represent them, to ensure that we maintain living standards and investment and prosperity and employment in our country", Lidington added.

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

"Brexit has divided the country".

Johnson slammed Theresa May's proposals, writing: "My brother Boris... recently observed that the proposed arrangements were "substantially worse than staying in the EU". On that he is unquestionably right", he said. We speak to former attorney general Dominic Grieve.

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

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