LONDON – The United Kingdom’s minister of state for transport tendered on Friday his resignation over disagreements with the prime minister’s plan for withdrawing from the European Union.
Jo Johnson – who happens to be the younger sibling of Boris Johnson, the UK’s former foreign secretary – said he quit his junior government position because he believed the Brexit agreement being finalized between Brussels and the government of PM Theresa May would lead to a terrible mistake.
“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,” Johnson wrote in an online article.
“On this most crucial of questions, I believe it is entirely right to go back to the people and ask them to confirm their decision to leave the EU and, if they choose to do that, to give them the final say on whether we leave with the prime minister’s deal or without it,” he added. “To do anything less will do grave damage to our democracy.”
Johnson, who – unlike his brother – backed the Remain option in the June 23, 2016 referendum, said that a no-deal outcome would inflict “untold damage on our nation.”
In the UK’s system, a minister is subordinated to the secretary of state.