Brexit news: Tory whip Gareth Johnson resigns ahead of Brexit vote
Conservative party politician Gareth Johnson resigns ahead of Tuesday’s Brexit vote, saying he can no longer support prime minister Theresa May’s deal.
The minister in the government whips’ office wrote a resignation letter to the prime minister on Monday, relaying his opposition to her Brexit deal just 24 hours before the meaningful vote.
He wrote the move was “possibly the hardest decision” he had made, but stated that "loyalty to his country was above his loyalty to the government."
Mr. Johnson said it was clear to him that no significant change would be made to the agreement before the meaningful vote, stating he previously had hoped there would be changes.
His letter added that nearly two-thirds of his constituents supported 'leave' in the referendum, and he “wanted the UK to take back the sovereignty” that his country lost during the membership of the European Union.
Johnson joins long list of resignations over deal
Johnson wasn’t the first MP to resign over May’s deal. In November May’s government took a hit after a string of resignations rushed in when May announced cabinet had settled on a Brexit deal.
EU presidents, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Junker wrote May a joint letter stating they would not amend the withdrawal agreement secured last year.
Their letter states: “Were the backstop to enter into force in whole or in part, it is intended to apply only temporarily, unless and until it is superseded by a subsequent agreement.”
Brexit Deal or no Deal
In a last attempt to get MPs behind her, May said on Monday that a no Brexit would be more likely than no deal.
May urged everyone to pull together "for the country's sake" and warned of "paralysis in Parliament" if the deal is rejected.
However, analysts say it's looking very likely that the deal will still be rejected in Tuesday’s vote, with May’s cabinet facing a no-confidence vote as a result.
Trading around Brexit
Find out how the UK’s exit from the EU continues to affect traders, and discover:
- The unique opportunities in a ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ Brexit
- The markets you should be watching
- Everything that’s happened so far
Live prices on most popular markets