Published: Tue, November 13, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Four UK ministers on verge of quitting

Four UK ministers on verge of quitting

Jo Johnson, the Remain-backing brother of Brexit figurehead Boris Johnson, resigned as Britain's transport minister, branding a proposed European Union withdrawal deal a "terrible mistake" that needed a fresh referendum.

The sterling which had traded as high as 1.3072 against the US Dollar slipped to 1.2969 at the NY close and to 0.8742 versus the euro having been as high as 0.8692, just two points above Thursday's six month sterling top of 0.8682.

Mr Johnson added his brother Boris, the chief Brexit campaigner and former foreign secretary, is "as unhappy with the government's proposals as I am".

In Ireland, the Prime minister continues to put all his weight into the balance so that the negotiations between London and Brussels will succeed.

Such a choice was a "failure of British statecraft on a scale unseen since the Suez crisis", he added.

Johnson - who backs Britain remaining in the European Union - said he is supporting calls for a second referendum on whether the country should leave the bloc. We will not under any circumstances have a second referendum.

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Boris Johnson was one of the most prominent and influential of the Brexit advocates.

The EU insists that a deal must lead to either a soft Brexit for the entire United Kingdom, or a sea border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Labour leadership says it is highly unlikely it will vote for the government's current plan.

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.

She has consistently rejected the idea of another nationwide vote on Brexit, insisting her obligation is to make good on the will of the people as expressed in 2016.

Asked if he could agree with Mr Johnson's call for a new referendum, Mr Corbyn said: "Not really, no".

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"And, if they can't, because they believe it's a bad deal for the country, then, honourably, they would have to resign".

Despite their difference in stance, he said they were "united in dismay" at the "intellectually and politically indefensible" UK position.

Jo Johnson announced that he was stepping down on Friday, citing that he could not support the Chequers deal and would push for a second vote on Brexit.

May is trying to hammer out the final details of the British divorce deal but the talks have become stuck over how the two sides can prevent a hard border from being required in Ireland.

"The prime minister has told colleagues this week we should aim to conclude the withdrawal agreement as soon as possible but we will not do that at any cost", PM May's office said in a statement.

"The referendum took place".

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