Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Boris Johnson backs brother Jo’s decision to quit over Brexit

Mike van Dulken 
#FTSE100 called +20pts at 7138 Mike van Dulken #FTSE100 called +20pts at 7138
Patty Aguilar | 11 November, 2018, 02:21

"We will not under any circumstances have a second referendum".

The remain-backing MP for Orpington and rail minister published an article online saying he could not vote for the deal which May is expected to bring back to parliament within weeks and instead would be throw his weight behind a second referendum.

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

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

While the majority of his constituents voted to leave the European Union, he rejected the idea that a vote on "what an idealised Brexit might offer" versus what was being delivered in reality, matched up to what many had voted for, describing the current state of things as an affront to democracy.

Theresa May has said the withdrawal deal is 95% done - but there is no agreement yet on how to guarantee no hard border in Northern Ireland.

The ex-transport minister said: "Hopes for the easiest deal in history have proved to be delusions".

His brother Boris, who quit as foreign secretary in July, praised his decision, saying the brothers were "united in dismay" at the Prime Minister's handling of the negotiations.

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"I know from my own work at the Department of Transport the potential chaos that will follow a "no deal" Brexit".

"My brother Boris, who led the "Leave" campaign, is as unhappy with the government's proposals as I am", Jo Johnson said.

He told a tech industry meeting in London on Wednesday: "I don't think it is a question so much of the risk of major shortages, but I think probably the average consumer might not be aware of the full extent to which the choice of goods that we have in the stores are dependent on one or two very specific trade routes".

Describing Mrs May's Brexit plan as "a bad mistake" he accused the Prime Minister of negotiating a deal which wasn't "anything like what was promised".

On Friday the DUP, whose support Theresa May relies on for votes in the Commons, said they can not support any deal which included the possibility that Northern Ireland would be treated differently from the rest of the UK.

Asked on Friday whether an agreement could make it through Parliament, de facto deputy PM David Lidington said he hoped that if a deal is agreed between the United Kingdom and European Union it would create a "new dynamic" in Westminster.

As campaigners step up pressure on the government calling for the public to be given another say on Brexit, the opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn dashed campaigners' hopes he could back another referendum.

Boundless admiration as ever for my brother Jo.

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