Minister Jo Johnson quits over Brexit and calls for new vote

Jo Johnson, the younger brother of Boris, resigned from Prime Minister Theresa May's government on Friday, calling in a withering critique for another referendum to avoid the vassalage or chaos that he said her Brexit plans would unleash.

In a blog for Medium, Johnson, brother of arch-Brexiteer and former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, writes: "Although I voted Remain, I have desperately wanted the government, in which I have been proud to serve, to make a success of Brexit: to reunite our country, our party and, yes, my family too".

In a scathing resignation letter, the senior Tory, who is Boris Johnson's brother, branded Mrs May's strategy "delusional" and warned the deal being negotiated "will be a bad mistake".

This is despite the fact he reportedly wrote the 2015 election manifesto for the Tory party promising to "honour the result of the [2016] referendum, whatever the outcome".

Mr Johnson said that he had supported Brexit after the 2016...

But Mr Rees-Mogg disputed his claim that giving the public a say on the final deal was the way to deliver the Leave vote.

"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".

Lord Heseltine, the former deputy prime minister and a supporter of the People's Vote campaign group, added: "This is a very significant resignation".

Jo Johnson said the choice being offered was between a "travesty of Brexit" under the deal being thrashed out by the Prime Minister and the European Union, or the "untold damage" of a no-deal Brexit.

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Jo Johnson's resignation, and his call for a fresh referendum to test voter sentiment, further complicates matters for May as she tries to strike a deal with European Union leaders that would pass muster with her own cabinet and win backing in Parliament.

Like rats, "in London, you're never more than a few feet from at least two Johnsons" joked Rachel Johnson in an article a year ago.

Mr Johnson campaigned for Remain during the 2016 referendum but said he and his brother were both anxious over the impact Mrs May's plan would have.

"This prospect alone would be a resigning matter for me as a constituency MP, but it is just a facet of a far greater problem facing the nation".

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

"The referendum in 2016 was the biggest democratic exercise in this country's history", the spokesman said. And the DUP leader said her party could not support Theresa May's current position.

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

"In fact so great is the gulf now between what was promised in the referendum campaign and what is now on offer in the Prime Minister's proposed deal that I have had no choice but to submit my resignation to the Prime Minister this afternoon".

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