Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Jo Johnson resignation: Where next for Number 10? - BBC Newsnight

Jo Johnson resignation: Where next for Number 10? - BBC Newsnight

Johnson confirmed he now plans to vote against any withdrawal agreement May brings before parliament.

Eloise Todd, head of the anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain, said: "This is an incredibly courageous move from Jo Johnson at a time when the public desperately needs more MPs to act in the national interest".

Prime Minister Theresa May's government, struggling to deliver Brexit, had argued that whether or not Britain could reverse the decision was immaterial, since the government had no intention of doing so.

"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 said.

Prime Minister Theresa May is reportedly close to securing a divorce deal with Brussels, as time runs out ahead of Britain's planned departure from the European Union on March 29 next year.

Boris Johnson has written several newspaper columns rejecting May's plan as a form of "vassalage" that would leave Britain subject to European Union laws but without a say in their formation - a "colony status for the United Kingdom (where) for the first time in a thousand years our laws will be made overseas, enforced by a foreign court".

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. The critique from Johnson underscores the travails that May faces in getting any Brexit divorce deal, which London and Brussels say is 95% done, approved by her own fractious party.

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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.

Former Brexit secretary David Davis, who quit over Brexit in July, said Mr Johnson was right to describe the Government's proposals as a "travesty of Brexit".

"I mean, as you know you can't pass a motion and make it happen".

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

I reject this false choice between the PM's deal and "no deal" chaos. While Johnson's resignation is likely to spur critics in the Conservative Party, securing a second referendum would also require support from the Labour Party, which is yet to fully clarify its stance on a referendum and what that could entail in terms of the question put to the public.

The Orpington MP resigned as a transport minister, saying the country was "barrelling towards an incoherent Brexit" and called for another referendum.

Boundless admiration as ever for my brother Jo.

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