Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Ministers gave Theresa May a plan for no deal Brexit

UK refuses to endorse EU aid spending By European Interest UK refuses to endorse EU aid spending By European Interest
Jeannette Daniel | 11 November, 2018, 01:47

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.

A government minister has quit with a stark warning over the impact on Kent of a no deal Brexit.

"I think it is imperative that we now go back to the people and check that they are content to proceed on this extraordinary basis", he added.

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".

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.

In an article sent to journalists, the MP for Orpington in Kent said the deal was being finalised in Brussels and Whitehall but the choice being presented was either, to back an agreement which would leave the United Kingdom "economically weakened with no say in the European Union rules it must follow" or a "no-deal Brexit" which would "inflict untold damage on our nation". "Now is the time for people to stand up for what they believe in or we will sleepwalk to a #Brexit disaster".

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.

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Johnson, who campaigned for Britain to stay in the European Union in the 2016 referendum, follows his elder sibling Boris - who spearheaded the pro-Brexit camp and quit as foreign secretary in July over Prime Minister Theresa May's plans - out of government over the divisive issue.

In his 1,600-word resignation statement, Johnson said May's proposed deal would leave Britain in a "far worse" negotiating position than now, adding he also knew from his work at the Department of Transport how painful a "no deal" Brexit would be.

"I think then people will need to ask themselves what is it that is going to be in the best interests of those who sent them to Westminster to represent them, to ensure that we maintain living standards and investment and prosperity and employment in our country", Lidington added.

"I hope and I believe that we can secure that majority in Parliament for the agreement".

The former transport minister accused the Brexit campaign - which was led, in part, by his brother Boris - of offering the public "a false prospectus" that bears little resemblance to the reality of the deal that the prime minister is to present to parliament.

Even a no-deal Brexit "may well be better than the never-ending purgatory" that Mrs May's plan would offer, he said.

"He has not done that".

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