Jo Johnson leaves the British government and asks for a referendum to avoid the chaos caused by Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) – Jo Johnson, Boris' younger brother, resigned Friday from the government of British Prime Minister Theresa May, calling for fierce criticism for another referendum to avoid his plans for Brexit, unleashing the biggest British crisis since the Second World War.

PHOTO FEATURE: Jo Johnson arrives at 9 Downing Street, London, January 9, 2018. REUTERS / Peter Nicholls

Leaving his position as junior transportation minister, Johnson announced that Brexit de May's plan was illusory and that he could not vote for the agreement that it is expected to release to Parliament within a few weeks.

"Britain is on the brink of the biggest crisis since the Second World War," said Johnson, a former Financial Times reporter, who voted in favor of keeping the EU in the 2016 referendum.

Johnson, 46, has described it as the worst political failure since the Suez Canal Crisis in 1956, during which Britain had been humbly compelled by the United States to withdraw its troops from the United States. Egypt.

"To present to the nation a choice between two deeply unattractive results, vassalism and chaos, is a failure of British politics on a scale unprecedented since the Suez crisis," he said.

"Since the reality of Brexit has turned out to be so far from what was promised, the democratic thing to do is give the public the last word," he added.

Johnson's critics have pointed to May's difficulties in getting any divorce deal in Brexit, which, according to London and Brussels, is 95 percent, approved by his own sad party.

The pound fell to a new low of the day below the $ 1.30 mark after the resignation and also fell against the euro. It was not clear if others would follow Johnson out of government.

In the June 2016 referendum, 17.4 million voters, or 51.9%, supported leaving the EU, while 16.1 million, or 48.1%, supported staying.

Johnson wants a three-way referendum, giving the people a choice between staying in the EU, the May agreement and the lack of agreement.

May's office rejected his appeal, saying Britain would not hold a second referendum on EU membership "under any circumstances".


Johnson is the 14th minister who has resigned from the government since last November and the eldest to call for a new referendum in his departure statement.

His resignation was published after May spent most of the day in France and Belgium, laying wreaths alongside other leaders to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

As negotiations with Brussels enter their difficult final phase, May's approach is under fire from critics of the Brexit debate.

Many politicians are unhappy with its compromise plans to maintain free trade in goods with the EU, which they say will leave Britain under the control of decisions made in Brussels without any contribution.

In his 1,600 – word resignation statement, Johnson said May 's proposed deal would leave Britain in a "much worse" bargaining position than today, adding that it' s not the same. he also knew from his work at the Ministry of Transport how a Brexit would be "penalizing".

Boris Johnson, a leading Brexit supporter who stepped down as Foreign Secretary in July, praised his brother's decision, saying they were "united by consternation" – despite their opposing views on the Brexit – on the treatment of the negotiations by May.

May should hold a cabinet meeting later this month in the hope of getting ministers' support for its negotiating position and hoping to conclude an exit agreement with the EU in the coming weeks. .

Last Friday, the North Irish party that backed its minority government compounded May's problems by calling the Brexit negotiation a "betrayal" and stating that it could not support any agreement dividing the UK.

PHOTO FILE: Jo Johnson, Boris Johnson's brother, crosses Westminster, London, on June 30, 2016. REUTERS / Peter Nicholls

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

While activists were increasing pressure on the government to demand that the public have another say on Brexit, the opposition leader, the Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, has dashed his hopes that he could support a new referendum.

The German magazine Der Spiegel asked him if he would stop Brexit if he could, Corbyn replied, "We can not stop him. The referendum was held … What we can do is recognize the reasons why people voted their departure. "

Written by Guy Faulconbridge; edited by Stephen Addison, Richard Balmforth

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