Jo Johnson Resigns And Backs Second Brexit Referendum

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The Conservative MP added that it would be a "democratic travesty" if the public did not get to have their say once again.

Calling for a new referendum, Mr Johnson said: "My view is that this is so different from what was billed that it would be an absolute travesty if we do not go back to the people and ask them if they actually do want to exit the European Union on this extraordinarily hopeless basis".

"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 bad mistake", he wrote.

It could be deployed in a bid to avoid a chaotic exit if no agreement can be reached or if a deal is voted down.

Prime Minister Theresa May this week faced pressure from her Westminster allies in the Democratic Unionist Party not to allow a customs border to split Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom after Brexit.

Serious impact?Image copyright PA Image caption Mr Johnson was elected MP for Orpington in 2010 and was made transport minister in January.

He is the sixth minister in Theresa May's government to quit over Brexit. "But we are not going to be bounced into another referendum, so that those who lost the previous one can try to apply continued membership of the European Union to the people of Britain in perpetuity".

Calling for a second referendum to be held on Brexit, Mr Johnson denounced the choice between Mrs May's deal plans or a no-deal scenario as a "failure of British statecraft on a scale unseen since the Suez crisis" that had left Britain facing "vassalage" or "chaos". I have never rebelled on any issue before now.

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"My brother Boris, who led the leave campaign, is as unhappy with the Government's proposals as I am", he said. "But my duty to my constituents and our great nation has forced me to act".

Downing Street thanked him for his work but continued to insist there was no prospect of another referendum "under any circumstances".

"I think we are at a sensitive point in the negotiations, a successful outcome is not guaranteed but I think it is possible in the next couple of weeks", Varadkar said on Friday (November 9).

Johnson is the sixth minister to resign over Brexit in Theresa May's cabinet, following in the footsteps of his brother Boris, David Davis, Boris Johnson, Philip Lee, Steve Baker and Guto Bebb.

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

Former BBC journalist and current University of Kent chancellor Gavin Esler said: "This - from a hugely respected minister - is an important development".

Johnson said this morning that other ministers are thinking hard about the Brexit and its implications.

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".

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