Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Jo Johnson quits as minister over Brexit

Jo Johnson quits as minister over Brexit

Jo Johnson voted Remain in the 2016 referendum and is a former universities minister.

Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable, whose party supports calls for a "People's Vote" on the final deal, said: "We warmly welcome Jo Johnson's support of the campaign to give the people the final say on the deal and a chance to exit from Brexit".

"I think it is imperative that we now go back to the people and check that they are content to proceed on this extraordinary basis", he explained.

Mr Johnson's resignation came just hours after Mrs May's de facto deputy said he hoped a deal would result in a "new dynamic" at Westminster, with MPs rallying behind the Prime Minister.

"To present the nation with a choice between two deeply unattractive outcomes, vassalage and chaos, is a failure of British statecraft on a scale unseen since the Suez crisis", he wrote, adding that from the work of his own Department he was aware that a no-deal scenario could threaten the country's access to fresh food and medicine.

"I hope and I believe that we can secure that majority in Parliament for the agreement".

Mr Johnson's sister Rachel said she was "hugely proud" of her "honourable and principled brother Jo who has put the interests of the country ahead of his political career".

SNP MP Stephen Gethins said: "Theresa May's authority is completely gone, and it is clear that her attempts to hobble together a deal can't even unite her Government, never mind the country".

May's Downing Street office said on Twitter: "We will not under any circumstances have a second referendum".

Unless the government and the European Union intentionally change course, Brexit will happen by force of law on March 29 next year, with or without a deal.

In seeking to prevent that outcome, the government is proposing that the United Kingdom would effectively enter a temporary customs union with the EU if a trade deal can not be struck by the end of the transition period in December 2020 to avoid such checks.

'To do anything less will do grave damage to our democracy'. "If these negotiations have achieved little else, they have at least united us in fraternal dismay", he said.

Transport minister Jo Johnson resigns over Theresa May's handling of Brexit.

"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".

Even a no-deal Brexit "may well be better than the never-ending purgatory" that Mrs May's plan would offer, he said.

Johnson slammed Theresa May's proposals, writing: "My brother Boris... recently observed that the proposed arrangements were "substantially worse than staying in the EU".

"This is not taking back control. On that he is unquestionably right", he said.

Mark Urban is joined by Dominic Grieve QC MP to discuss where the resignation leaves Number 10.

Boundless admiration as ever for my brother Jo.

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