Johnson said the PM has delivered an incoherent strategy as he quit his role
Remainer Jo Johnson has quit his position as minister for transport as the Prime Minister tries to strike a deal tonight.
The Orpington MP branded her emerging package – which the PM hopes to finalise within days – a massive failure in British statecraft on the scale of Suez.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Johnson said the ‘reality’ of what was being negotiated was far from what had been promised during the referendum campaign in 2016, and the country was faced with a ‘terrible’ choice between ‘vassalage and chaos’.
He told the paper: ‘I have always been a loyal member of parliament. I have never rebelled on anything. I’m not a serial mutineer. I’ve just reached the point where I cannot see the logic of how we are proceeding with Brexit.
‘It’s riddled with such contradictions as to make no sense at all now at any level. It is a fake fudge.
‘It was meant to be about sovereignty and trade deals, but we’re going to have no capacity to make meaningful trade deals.
‘It was meant to be about a brave new future as a deregulated economy. But we’re signing up to the common rule book on standards and health and safety, the environment and all the rest of it. It’s completely incoherent.
‘Rather than take this irrevocable step we should give the public a chance to reflect on whether this extraordinary course, which is so different from what was promised in the referendum, is really the one they want to go down. And if they do, well fair enough.
‘I really wanted the Prime Minister to make a success of Brexit, and stood by silently and watched over the past couple of years and lent every support I could in the Commons voting lobbies. But what’s the point when we’re about to do something which doesn’t stack up.
Theresa May (pictured today with French President Emmanuel Macron) faces more disruption as she tries to hammer out a deal
‘We are on the verge of doing the deal. I have waited for two years to give the Prime Minister space, not to tie her negotiating hand, not to narrow her freedom of manoeuvre.
‘But now that we’re actually at the point of being asked to vote it through in the coming days, at some point you got to say ‘hold on, does this make sense or not?
‘And to me it doesn’t anymore. I don’t want to resign from the government – you work hard for these privileged positions, but I’ve got to do it.
‘I’ve got no idea if others will follow, I’m not part of a plot, this is not about leadership. I’m not trying to oust Theresa May: I’ve wished her well. It’s not about her.’