Jo Johnson: it would be travesty not to have second Brexit vote

Gladys Abbott
November 10, 2018

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.

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.

'It has become increasingly clear to me that the withdrawal agreement, which is being finalised in Brussels and Whitehall even as I write, will be a awful mistake, ' said Jo Johnson in an online article sent to journalists.

Johnson says Theresa May's Brexit strategy will make Britain subordinate to the EU.

His resignation comes as it is thought that a special cabinet meeting could be held early next week for ministers to approve the government's draft agreement on the terms of the UK's exit.

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

He denied his actions amounted to a coup against the prime minister. "Britain will lose its seat at the table and its ability to amend or vote down rules it opposes".

British and European negotiators will then seek to agree the future relationship.

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Johnson's criticism underscored the travails that May faces in getting any Brexit divorce deal, which London and Brussels say is 95 percent done, approved by her own fractious party.

The Democratic Unionist Party interpreted a promise made by May in a letter that she would never let a division of the United Kingdom "come into force" as an admission that such a clause would be included in a final deal.

The Northern Irish DUP - who May relies on for her parliamentary majority - has criticised the government's proposed plan, saying it could allow Northern Ireland to be separated from the UK.

The resignation of such a high-profile figure, just days after Britain suggested it was close to a deal is seen as hugely significant. potentially leading to other Conservative MPs and Ministers speaking out in favour of a second referendum.

Asked if his brother Boris Johnson had lied to voters during the referendum about Brexit, the former transport minister said: "In the campaign there were undoubtedly promises made that have shown to be undeliverable".

He added the alternative of no-deal would "inflict untold damage on our nation".

Johnson said Brussels offered Britain a chose between "vassalage and chaos" and that the document was "a failure of British statecraft on a scale unseen since the Suez crisis". "If these negotiations have achieved little else, they have at least united us in fraternal dismay".

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