Jo Johnson resigns over 'completely unacceptable' Brexit deal

Jo Johnson resigns over 'completely unacceptable' Brexit deal

Friday, November 9, 2018

Boris Johnson’s brother Jo has resigned from his position as transport minister and minister for London due to concerns over Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

Mr Johnson handed in his resignation on November 9, and posted a video and written statement online.

In the video, shared to his Twitter account, the MP for Orpington says: “We are barrelling towards an incoherent Brexit that is going to leave us trapped in a subordinate relationship with the EU, with no say over the rules that will govern huge swathes of our economy.

“This is completely unacceptable and unsustainable for a proud democracy such as our own.

“So great is the gulf now between what was promised in the referendum campaign and what is on offer in the Prime Minister’s proposed deal, I have had no choice but to submit my resignation to the Prime Minister this afternoon.”

His brother Boris resigned as foreign secretary in July with similar concerns, and has repeatedly denounced Mrs May’s Chequers deal, which would keep the UK in a customs union with the EU.

On Monday, he called the deal “an absolute stinker”.


'A terrible mistake'

In his written statement, Jo Johnson - who, unlike his brother, voted Remain - said: “Brexit has divided the country. It has divided political parties. And it has divided families too.

“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.

“At times, I believed this was possible. That’s why I voted to start the Article 50 process and for two years have backed the Prime Minister in her efforts to secure the best deal for the country.

“But 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 terrible mistake.”

Mrs May said in October that the Brexit deal as “95% done”, and the cabinet viewed a draft agreement on Thursday.

The Democratic Unionist Party and the Taoiseach of Ireland have expressed concerns over the Irish border issue, which is the main sticking point in completing the deal.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said the Prime Minister was “wedded” to the idea of a customs border in the Irish Sea, which she said “raises alarm bells”.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he will not accept a deal which gives the UK unilateral control over a backstop situation.