Jo Johnson resigns as transport minister and calls for new Brexit referendum

Jo Johnson resigns as transport minister and calls for new Brexit referendum
U.K. MP Jo Johnson resigns over Brexit crisis, calls for new referendum
Jo Johnson, the younger brother of Boris, resigned from British Prime Minister Theresa Mays government on Friday, calling in a withering critique for another referendum to avoid the vassalage or chaos that he said her Brexit plans would unleash.

Quitting as a junior transport minister, Johnson called Mays Brexit plans delusional and said he could not vote for the deal she is expected to unveil in parliament within weeks.

It also found that 32% of Leave voters say staff shortages in the NHS after Brexit would make them change their mind, but only 22% of them would switch to Remain if there was a return of a hard border in Ireland.

Britain stands on the brink of the greatest crisis since the Second World War, said Johnson, a former Financial Times journalist who voted to stay in the EU in the 2016 referendum.

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UK government minister Jo Johnson resigns over Theresa Mays Brexit plan

Johnson, 46, called it the worst failure of statecraft since the 1956 Suez canal crisis, in which Britain was humiliatingly forced by the United States to withdraw its troops from Egypt.

The survey for the Politico website found that when presented with a list of options, just 9% believe there should be a fresh vote on the UKs membership of the bloc in those circumstances.

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 said.

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, he added.

The poll of 3,006 people by Hanbury Strategy also found that only 8% think there should be a referendum on whether to accept the Brexit deal or leave with no deal at all.

Johnsons criticism underscored the travails that May faces in getting any Brexit divorce deal, which London and Brussels say is 95 per cent done, approved by her own fractious party.

However, when asked a straight question on whether they want another referendum once the Brexit negotiations are over, 43% said yes, 35% said no and 22% didnt know.

Video: Jo Johnson announces resignation over Mays Brexit plan

The pound sank to a days low beneath $1.30 on the resignation and also fell against the euro. It was unclear whether others would follow Johnson out of government.

Elswehere, the survey found that 48% of voters believe leaving the EU will have a positive impact on the British economy over the next 10 years.

In the June 2016 referendum, 17.4 million voters, or 51.9 per cent, backed leaving the EU while 16.1 million, or 48.1 per cent, backed staying.

Barely one-in-ten voters want another EU referendum to be held if MPs reject Theresa Mays Brexit deal, a new poll has revealed.

Jo Johnson quits as transport minister: Boris Johnsons brother resigns over Brexit saying withdrawal deal is failure on scale unseen since Suez crisis

Johnson wants a three-way referendum giving the people a choice between remaining in the EU, Mays deal and no deal.

Jo Johnson quits Theresa Mays government over her Brexit plans

Mays office rejected his call, saying Britain would not hold a second referendum on its EU membership under any circumstances.

Johnson is the 14th minister to have resigned from government since November last year and the most senior to have called for another referendum in his leaving statement.

A senior source in the Peoples Vote campaign told Business Insider last week that up to three Conservative MPs would declare support for another referendum this month. Tory MPs Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston, Justine Greening, Philip Lee and Guto Bebb are already supporters of the campaign for another Brexit referendum.

His resignation was published after May spent much of the day in France and Belgium, laying wreaths alongside fellow leaders to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.

“I have never rebelled on any issue before now. But my duty to my constituents and our great nation has forced me to act. I have today written to the Prime Minister asking her to accept my resignation from the Government. It is now my intention to vote against this Withdrawal Agreement.”

As negotiations with Brussels enter their final fraught stage, Mays approach is under fire from all sides of the divisive Brexit debate.

“On this most crucial of questions, I believe it is entirely right to go back to the people and ask them to confirm their decision to leave the EU and, if they choose to do that, to give them the final say on whether we leave with the Prime Ministers deal or without it.”

Many politicians are unhappy with her compromise plans to maintain the free trade of goods with the EU, which they say will leave Britain subject to decisions in Brussels without any input.

Jo Johnson is the eighteenth minister to resign from Theresa Mays government. She has lost all authority and is incapable of negotiating a Brexit deal within her own party, let alone with the EU,” shadow Brexit minister Jenny Chapman said.

Instant view: Jo Johnson resigns from UK government, calls for new referendum

In his 1,600-word resignation statement, Johnson said Mays proposed deal would leave Britain in a far worse negotiating position than now, adding he also knew from his work at the Department of Transport how painful a no deal Brexit would be.

Boris Johnson, a leading supporter of Brexit who quit as foreign secretary in July, praised his brothers decision, saying they were united in dismay – despite their opposing views on Brexit – over Mays handling of the negotiations.

The MP for Orpington added: “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.”

May is expected to hold a cabinet meeting later this month in the hope of securing ministers support for her negotiating stance and hopes to strike an exit deal with the EU in the next few weeks.

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Compounding Mays problems on Friday, the Northern Irish party that props up her minority government cast her Brexit negotiation as a betrayal and said it could not support any deal that divided the United Kingdom.

LONDON — Jo Johnson has resigned as Theresa Mays Transport Minister over her handling of Brexit talks and declared his support for another referendum on leaving the European Union. 

The Democratic Unionist Party interpreted a promise made by May in a letter that she would never let a division of the UK come into force as an admission that such a clause would be included in a final deal.

In an article published online, Johnson backed his brother Boris, who also quit the government earlier this year in protest against Mays handling of Brexit negotiations.

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