U.K. minister resigns over Brexit, backs another referendum
A minister in the British government stepped down Friday to protest Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan and is backing calls for a second referendum on whether the country should leave the European Union.
Jo Johnson, younger brother of former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, said the withdrawal agreement being discussed by EU and British leaders would greatly weaken Britain and require the country to follow EU rules without having any say. The only alternative on the table, he said, is a no-deal Brexit that would “inflict untold damage” on Britain.
“It has become increasingly clear to me that the withdrawal agreement, which is being finalized in Brussels and Whitehall even as I write, will be a terrible mistake,” said Jo Johnson, who was a transport minister in the government.
To give the public a choice between these two disastrous versions of Brexit would be a “failure of British statecraft on a scale unseen since the Suez crisis,” he said, referencing the 1956 conflict against Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser that is widely seen as marking the moment at which Britain formally lost its imperial role in the world.