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Read Jo Johnson’s resignation letter in full as former transport minister calls for Final Say on Brexit


Jo Johnson has develop into the most recent minister to stop the federal government in protest over the phrases on which Theresa Could is hoping to safe Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The previous transport minister stepped down on Friday, branding the prime minister’s Brexit plan a “con” earlier than calling for the general public to be given a Final Say on any deal agreed with Brussels.

Mr Johnson, brother of figurehead of the Go away marketing campaign Boris Johnson, accused Ms Could of overseeing a “failure of British statecraft” not seen because the Suez Disaster within the 1950s.

Learn in full: Jo Johnson explains why he resigned from authorities

“Brexit has divided the nation. It has divided political events. And it has divided households too. Though I voted stay, I’ve desperately wished the federal government, wherein I’ve been proud to serve, to make a hit of Brexit: to reunite our nation, our social gathering and, sure, my household too.

“At occasions, I believed this was doable. That’s why I voted to begin the Article 50 course of and for 2 years have backed the prime minister in her efforts to safe the perfect deal for the nation. But it surely has develop into more and more clear to me that the withdrawal settlement, which is being finalised in Brussels and Whitehall whilst I write, shall be a horrible mistake.

“Certainly, the selection being introduced to the British individuals isn’t any selection in any respect. The primary possibility is the one the federal government is proposing: an settlement that can go away our nation economically weakened, with no say within the EU guidelines it should observe and years of uncertainty for enterprise.

“The second possibility is a “no deal” Brexit that I do know as a transport minister will inflict untold injury on our nation. To current the nation with a selection between two deeply unattractive outcomes, vassalage and chaos, is a failure of British statecraft on a scale unseen because the Suez disaster. My constituents in Orpington deserve higher than this from their authorities.

“What’s now being proposed gained’t be something like what was promised two years in the past.

“Hopes for ‘the best commerce deal in historical past’ have proved to be delusions. Opposite to guarantees, there’s in reality no deal in any respect on our future buying and selling relationship with the EU which the federal government can current to the nation. Nonetheless much less something that provides the “very same advantages” as the only market, as David Davis promised, or the “exact ensures of frictionless commerce” that the prime minister assured us could be accessible.

“All that’s now being finalised is the settlement to pay the EU tens of billions of kilos. All which may be on provide on commerce is the potential for an settlement to remain in a short lived customs association whereas we focus on the potential of an EU commerce deal that every one expertise reveals will take a few years to barter.

“Even when we finally safe a customs association for commerce in items, it is going to be dangerous information for the service sector — for companies in finance, in IT, in communications and digital expertise. Sustaining entry to EU markets for items is necessary, however we’re essentially a companies economic system. Many in Orpington, for instance, are among the many two million Britons employed in monetary companies, commuting into the centre of London to jobs of every kind within the Metropolis.

“International locations the world over go to nice lengths to draw monetary companies jobs from our shores. An settlement that sharply reduces entry to EU markets for monetary companies — or leaves us weak to regulatory change over which we could have no affect — will harm my constituents and injury one in every of our most profitable sectors.

“Whereas we wait to barter buying and selling phrases, the principles of the sport shall be set solely by the EU. Britain will lose its seat on the desk and its means to amend or vote down guidelines it opposes. As an alternative of Britain “taking again management”, we are going to cede management to different European nations. This democratic deficit inherent within the prime minister’s proposal is a travesty of Brexit.

“After we have been informed Brexit meant taking again powers for Parliament, nobody informed my constituents this meant the French parliament and the German parliament, not our personal. In these circumstances, we should ask what we’re reaching. William Hague as soon as described the purpose of Conservative coverage as being “in Europe, however not run by Europe”. The federal government’s proposals will see us out of Europe, but run by Europe, certain by guidelines which we could have misplaced a hand in shaping.

“Worse nonetheless, there is no such thing as a actual readability about how this case will ever finish. The proposed withdrawal settlement parks most of the greatest points about our future relationship with Europe right into a boundless transitionary interval. This can be a con on the British individuals: there is no such thing as a proof that the type of Brexit that we’ve failed to barter whereas we’re nonetheless members will be magically agreed as soon as the UK has misplaced its seat on the desk. The leverage we’ve as a full member of the EU could have gone. We shall be in a far worse negotiating place than we’re at this time. And we could have nonetheless did not resolve the elemental questions which are ramping up uncertainties for companies and stopping them investing for the longer term.

“My brother Boris, who led the go away marketing campaign, is as sad with the federal government’s proposals as I’m. Certainly he lately noticed that the proposed preparations have been “considerably worse than staying within the EU”. On that he’s unquestionably proper. If these negotiations have achieved little else, they’ve not less than united us in fraternal dismay.

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“The argument that the federal government will current for the withdrawal settlement ‘deal’ shouldn’t be that it’s higher for Britain than our present membership. The Prime Minister is aware of that she can not actually make the declare that the deal is an enchancment on Britain’s present preparations with the EU and, to her credit score, refuses to take action. The one case she will attempt to make is that it’s higher than the choice of leaving the EU with no deal in any respect.

“Definitely, I do know from my very own work on the Division of Transport [sic] the potential chaos that can observe a “no-deal” Brexit. It should trigger disruption, delay and deep injury to our economic system. There are actual questions on how we will assure entry to recent meals and drugs if the essential Dover-Calais commerce route is clogged up. The federal government could need to take management of prioritising which lorries and which items are allowed in and overseas, a rare and certainly unworkable intervention for a authorities in a sophisticated capitalist economic system.

“The prospect of Kent turning into the Lorry Park of England could be very actual in a no-deal state of affairs. Orpington residents bordering Kent face disruption from plans to make use of the close by M26, connecting the M25 to the M20, as an extra queueing space for heavy items automobiles backed up all the way in which from the channel ports. This prospect alone could be a resigning matter for me as a constituency MP, however it’s only a aspect of a far better drawback dealing with the nation.

“But for all its challenges and for all the true ache it might trigger us as we adapt to new boundaries to commerce with our greatest market, we are able to in the end survive these difficulties. I imagine it might be a grave mistake for the federal government to ram by means of this deal by as soon as once more unleashing Venture Concern. A “no deal” consequence of this kind could be higher than the by no means ending purgatory the prime minister is providing the nation.

“However my message to my brother and to all go away campaigners is that inflicting such critical financial and political hurt on the nation will go away an indelible impression of incompetence within the minds of the general public. It can’t be what you wished nor did the 2016 referendum present any mandate for it.

“Provided that the fact of Brexit has turned out to be so removed from what was as soon as promised, the democratic factor to do is to provide the general public the ultimate say. This might not be about re-running the 2016 referendum, however about asking individuals whether or not they need to go forward with Brexit now that we all know the deal that’s truly accessible to us, whether or not we must always go away with none deal in any respect or whether or not individuals on stability would moderately follow the deal we have already got contained in the European Union.

“To those that say that’s an affront to democracy given the 2016 outcome, I ask this. Is it extra democratic to depend on a three-year-old vote based mostly on what an idealised Brexit may provide, or to have a vote based mostly on what we all know it does truly entail?

“A majority of Orpington voters selected to depart the EU in 2016 and most of the shut buddies I’ve there, amongst them hard-working native Conservative Occasion members, are passionately pro-Brexit. I respect their place. However I do know from conferences I’ve had with native members that many are as dismayed as me by the course of negotiations and concerning the precise selection now on provide. Two and a half years on, the sensible Brexit choices are actually clear and the general public ought to be requested to decide on between the totally different paths dealing with our nation: we are going to all have totally different positions on that selection, however I believe many in my native social gathering, within the Orpington constituency and across the nation would welcome having the final phrase on the federal government’s Brexit proposals.

“Britain stands getting ready to the best disaster because the Second World Warfare. My loyalty to my social gathering is undimmed. I’ve by no means rebelled on any subject prior to now. However my responsibility to my constituents and our nice nation has compelled me to behave. I’ve at this time written to the prime minister asking her to just accept my resignation from the federal government. It’s now my intention to vote in opposition to this withdrawal settlement. I reject this false selection between the PM’s deal and “no deal” chaos.

“On this most vital of questions, I imagine it’s fully proper to return to the individuals and ask them to substantiate their determination to depart the EU and, in the event that they select to try this, to provide them the ultimate say on whether or not we go away with the prime minister’s deal or with out it. To do something much less will do grave injury to our democracy.”


The Unbiased has launched its #FinalSay marketing campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the ultimate Brexit deal.

Sign our petition here


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