Minister Jo Johnson quits over Brexit and calls for new vote

Transport minister Jo Johnson, brother of Boris, calls for the public to have fresh say on leaving the EU.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
The Brexit deal "will see us cede control" - Jo Johnson

Jo Johnson has quit as transport minister and called for the public to have a fresh say on Brexit.

The MP, who is Boris Johnson's brother but voted Remain in the referendum, said the deal being negotiated with the EU "will be a terrible mistake".

Arguing Britain was "on the brink of the greatest crisis" since World War Two, he said what was on offer wasn't "anything like what was promised".

Downing Street thanked him for his work but ruled out another referendum.

Jo Johnson voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum while his brother Boris, who quit as foreign secretary in July, was a leading Brexiteer.

His brother praised his decision, saying they were "united in dismay" at the PM's handling of the negotiations.

Cabinet ministers have been invited this week to read the UK's draft withdrawal deal with the EU. 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.

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

Mr Johnson, the MP for Orpington in Kent, said the choice being finalised was either:

  • an agreement which would leave the UK "economically weakened with no say in the EU rules it must follow", or
  • a "no-deal Brexit" which would "inflict untold damage on our nation".

He described this as "a failure of British statecraft unseen since the Suez crisis" but said even a no-deal Brexit "may well be better than the never-ending purgatory" being put forward by the prime minister.

But in a warning to his brother and fellow Brexiteers, he added: "Inflicting such serious economic and political harm on the country will leave an indelible impression of incompetence in the minds of the public."

The "democratic thing to do is to give the public the final say", he argued.


Serious impact?

Mr Johnson was elected MP for Orpington in 2010 and was made transport minister in January

Analysis by BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg

For some time, Jo Johnson has struggled with the unfolding reality of Brexit.

A well-respected and liked member of the government, he has decided that what was promised to people during the referendum campaign is now so different to what is on the table that he has quit the government instead.

He's not the first, nor the best-known minister to resign over Brexit. But to leave at this moment, right when Theresa May is trying to stitch together a final deal, could have a serious impact.

Read Laura's full blog


He added: "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, whether we should leave without any deal at all or whether people on balance would rather stick with the deal we already have inside the European Union.

"Britain stands on the brink of the greatest crisis since the Second World War. My loyalty to the party is undimmed. I have never rebelled on any issue before now.

"But my duty to my constituents and our great nation has forced me to act."

'Authority lost'

In response, a Downing Street spokesman said: "The referendum in 2016 was the biggest democratic exercise in this country's history. We will not under any circumstances have a second referendum.

"The prime minister thanks Jo Johnson for his work in government."

Mr Johnson is the sixth minister in Theresa May's government to resign specifically over Brexit, following David Davis, Boris Johnson, Philip Lee, Steve Baker and Guto Bebb.

For Labour, Shadow Brexit Minister Jenny Chapman said Mrs May had "lost all authority and is incapable of negotiating a Brexit deal within her own party, let alone with the EU".

But asked in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel whether he would stop Brexit if he had the chance, Jeremy Corbyn replied: "We can't stop it, the referendum took place."

Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable, whose party supports calls for a "People's Vote" on the final deal, said: "We warmly welcome Jo Johnson's support of the campaign to give the people the final say on the deal and a chance to exit from Brexit.

"This is a fascinating situation in which Jo and his sister are united in opposing their brother Boris and his Brexit plans."

Brexiteer Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns tweeted that she did not agree with him about another referendum - but his intervention highlighted unease on both sides of the debate, with the PM's efforts to secure a deal.

And pro-Remain Conservative Anna Soubry supported his decision and said it was time for another referendum.

David Davis, who quit as Brexit Secretary over Mrs May's Chequers Brexit plan, tweeted:




Date: 09 November 2018 | Source: BBC

More UK News

The Inbetweeners to reunite for one-off anniversary show

The cast of the E4 sitcom will reunite for a two-hour celebration and tribute programme

Diabetes glucose monitors 'available to thousands more'

The decision comes after patients in some areas of England were being denied access to the device

Prince Charles reveals love of 'groussaka' as he turns 70

In an article for his 70th birthday, Prince Charles reveals his love of moussaka - made with grouse..

Newspaper headlines: 'Moment of truth' for Brexit deal

The potential Brexit agreement dominates Wednesday's front pages

Flybe 'up for sale' weeks after profit warning

The regional airline is expected to say that its board is exploring a sale or a merger with a rival..

Rabies victim who died after cat bite named as Omar Zouhri

The man, named locally as Omar Zouhri, was bitten by an infected cat while on holiday in Morocco
View More

More Telford News

 WATCH: Drink-driver from Telford flees over motorway after smashing his car into barrier

A drink-driver from Telford ploughed into a concrete barrier before scramb..

 Defendant said he did not think he had killed stepfather in cricket bat attack

A 16-year-old accused of murdering a stepfather by hitting him with a cric..

 GKN owner reports strong revenue growth

Melrose Industries, which bought historic engineering firm GKN earlier thi..

 Shropshire courts shake-up is defended

The courts service has defended the decision to stop hearing remand cases ..

 Shropshire Remembrance Sunday events mark 100 years since end of WW1

Towns and villages across Shropshire will commemorate the centenary of the ..

 Breakfast briefings hailed a success

New breakfast briefings for the construction industry launched by Telford d..
View More

Telford Businesses

Calendar Countdown

[[countdown here]]
[[countdown here]]

Upcoming Events in Telford

14 Nov 2018

Wednesday 14 November 8pm


Tickets £19.50

Show running time (approx) : 60 minutes - 20 minute interval - 60 minutes

View Details

28 Nov 2018

Wednesday 28 November 8pm

Doors open 7.15pm

Show running time (approx): 45 minutes - 20 minutes interval - 45 minutes


Tickets £16.50

14+ (Parental Guidance). Likely to be swearing and adult content.

View Details

01 Dec 2018

9:30am - 12pm


Adult - £8.50

Child - £11.95

Family - £39

View Details

01 Dec 2018

2:30pm - 4:30pm

Please arrive 15 minutes before the start time to allow time to be seated.


Child - £14.95

Adult's - £9.95

Family Ticket - £45

View Details
View More