May suffers new blow as minister resigns over Brexit

May suffers new blow as minister resigns over Brexit

May suffers new blow as minister resigns over Brexit

Mr Johnson's dramatic move to exit Government, four months after his brother Boris dealt Mrs May a political blow by walking out of Cabinet, took Westminster by surprise.

In an article sent to journalists, the MP for Orpington said he would vote against the withdrawal agreement which the prime minister was trying to agree with the European Union, describing it as "a awful mistake".

He said the public were being offered "an agreement that will leave our country economically weakened".

The UK is set to divorce the European Union on 29 March 2019, with the transition period set to end in December 2020, and Downing Street is seeking to settle the remaining five percent of the withdrawal agreement to prompt a deal-making summit later in November.

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Mrs May has also come under fire from her own MPs and Cabinet ministers, who have demanded legal advice on the final terms of the UK's exit to ensure the EU can not keep Britain inside the customs union indefinitely.

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.

Mr Johnson voted to remain in the European Union in the 2016 referendum while his brother Boris, who quit as foreign secretary in July, was a leading Brexiteer.

"To present the nation with a choice between two deeply unattractive outcomes, vassalage and chaos, is a failure of British statecraft on a scale unseen since the Suez crisis", he wrote, adding that from the work of his own Department he was aware that a no-deal scenario could threaten the country's access to fresh food and medicine.

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On Friday the DUP, whose support Theresa May relies on for votes in the Commons, said they could not support any deal which included the possibility that Northern Ireland would be treated differently from the rest of the UK.

Ahead of a conference of the Eurosceptic Bruges Group on Saturday, Tory MP Mark Francois also said further ministerial resignations could not be ruled out. "I've done so, if others feel that it's right for them to do so then good on them".

Labour said the resignation - the 18th during the PM's tenure - showed May had lost authority and could not negotiate Brexit.

Transport Minister Jo Johnson has stepped down to protest UK Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan.

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Describing Mrs May's Brexit plan as "a bad mistake" he accused the Prime Minister of negotiating a deal which wasn't "anything like what was promised". Here is a young politician with everything to gain from staying inside the government, pursuing his distinguished career, keeping his head down and waiting for events to take their course.

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