May suffers new blow as minister resigns over Brexit

PATRICK HERTZOG  AFP  Getty Images

Still under the No Deal scenario "Britain stands on the brink of the greatest crisis since the Second World War", he said.

His comments come the day after Jo Johnson, the pro-European brother of the former foreign secretary and arch-Brexiteer Boris, quit as transport minister saying he couldn't vote for the deal May was negotiating, and called for a second referendum on Brexit.

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.

His older brother Boris resigned in July to protest May's Brexit plan - but Boris did so as a staunch support of a hard-line Brexit, while Jo Johnson backed the "remain" side during the June, 2016 referendum.

Support for May's Brexit plan is dwindling, with the DUP today said to be furious over so-called "backstop to the backstop" proposals on the Irish border, which could divide the province from the rest of the United Kingdom on customs.

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


Mr Johnson said his role as transport minister had caused him concern about the impact of a no-deal outcome. The better alternative, he believes, is to have another vote on whether the people want to actually leave now when they know the cost they will have to pay.

"My loyalty to my party is undimmed", Johnson added. "But my duty to my constituents and our great nation has forced me to act".

The former Remainer has been unable to embrace the possibilities offered by a clean "No Deal" Brexit in which Britain would deal with the European Union as a third country on standard World Trade Organisation terms, however, claiming this would mean "chaos".

Transport Minister Jo Johnson has stepped down to protest UK Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan. Meanwhile, a spokesman for May's office says there will not be a second referendum on Brexit under any circumstances.

Pressed on whether more ministerial resignations were coming, Mr Johnson told Radio 4: 'It's for each MP to come to his or her own view.

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

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