Jo Johnson quits United Kingdom government over 'delusional' Brexit deal

Olive Hawkins
November 11, 2018

In a tweet, Boris said he had "boundless admiration" for his brother and that they are "united in dismay" at the indefensibility of May's position even though they disagree over Brexit. His resignation raises fears that other Remainers will follow suit or be emboldened to vote down a deal.

About 700,000 people rallied for a new Brexit referendum last month, the second largest march in recent memory, with consternation centred on the government's apparent failure to secure an acceptable deal.

"We may or may not be able to get an agreement in which case we would have to leave the European Union without one, but we're not going to be bounced into having another referendum", he said.

The government has said it is confident of agreeing a deal with the European Union, but it is the responsible course of action to plan for every eventuality.

That wouldn't be an enormous surprise but it would be if it were a deal that May could force through Parliament, especially as this week the DUP, on whom May is dependant for majority support in the House of Commons, said they felt betrayed by plans for a customs border in the Irish Sea. He called for a second referendum - a position which has been repeatedly rejected by Downing Street. There are fears that the so-called backstop agreement on the Irish border could make Britain a vassal state of the European Union and increase the possibility of a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

"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.

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Jo Johnson says the PM is presenting Britain with a choice between "vassalage and chaos" and that, if nothing else, Brexit has united Remainer Jo and Leaver Boris in their dismay at the path down which Britain is heading.

He was echoed by Ellwood, who said that the Ministry of Defence was "looking right across the full spectrum of requirements to make sure we're prepared to stand up if required to do so".

"This would not be about re-running the 2016 referendum, but about asking people whether they want to go ahead with Brexit now that we know the deal that is actually available to us".

But, like Corbyn, May's MPs appeared to rally around her, with both Tom Tugendhat and defence minister Tobias Ellwood arguing against speculation on the Brexit deal.

Jo said: "Brexit has divided the country".

"My brother Boris, who led the leave campaign, is as unhappy with the government's proposals as I am", Johnson said. The development comes a day after Jo Johnson quit as transport minister.

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