Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Brexit: UK, EU Reportedly Reach Consensus on Backstop Review Clause

Jo Johnson resigns as minister over Brexit | London Jo Johnson warns people Kent of no deal Brexit as he quits ministerial role
Patty Aguilar | 11 November, 2018, 06:49

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

The Conservative Party MP, who was a New Delhi-based journalist for "The Financial Times" between 2005 and 2008, said the United Kingdom was "barrelling towards an incoherent Brexit that is going to leave us trapped in a subordinate relationship to the EU".

But he said a second referendum is "not the way forward and is not supported by the public".

Jo Johnson, the younger brother of Boris, who quit the British government on Friday over Brexit, said he knew many other ministers and lawmakers were "reflecting hard" on whether to accept an exit deal and would welcome other resignations.

Steve Baker, a former junior Brexit minister who resigned over May's so-called Chequers proposals on Brexit, and Sammy Wilson of the DUP wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper that they could not back a deal if it treated Northern Ireland differently from the rest of the country.

The MP, who is Boris Johnson's brother, said the withdrawal deal now being negotiated with the European Union "will be a bad mistake".

He said: "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". This is a con on the British people. "If these negotiations have achieved little else, they have at least united us in fraternal dismay".

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He voted to remain in the European Union while his brother was a leading Brexiteer. 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.

But to leave at this moment, right when Theresa May is trying to stitch together a final deal, could have a serious impact.

"Boundless admiration as ever for my brother Jo", he said.

"We can stop this Tory Brexit but, ultimately, it should be for the people to decide", he said.

FILE - In this March 3, 2016 file photo, Universities Minister Jo Johnson is photographed prior to giving a speech on science, universities and the European Union at the Babbage Lecture Theatre, University of Cambridge in Cambridge.

But calls for a second Brexit referendum have been attacked by ex-first secretary of state Damian Green.

"Now is the time for people to stand up for what they believe in or we will sleepwalk to a #Brexit disaster".

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