Gareth Johnson blasted the deal as ‘disrespectful’ to the people as the PM battles to win last-minute support for her hated agreement today
ANOTHER member of Theresa May’s government has quit today, 24 hours ahead of the crunch vote on her deal.
Assistant Tory whip Gareth Johnson threw in the towel this afternoon as the PM battles to win last-minute support for her hated deal.
Brexiteer Mr Johnson, whose job it is to persuade MPs to vote for the deal, said he couldn’t back it as it would keep us tied to the EU for years to come, and said it was “disrespectful” to the millions of Brits who opted to leave.
The ex-personal private sectretary to David Davis and Dominic Raab wrote in his resignation letter today: “I have decided the time has come to place my loyalty to my country above my loyalty to the Government”.
He also took aim at the rules that would tie Northern Ireland to the bloc in future too – and said the deal would be “detrimental to our nation’s interests”.
“This agreement prevents us taking back control and instead could leave us perpetually constrained by the European Union”, he wrote.
Ex-Brexit minister Steve Baker, who also quit over our EU exit, hailed him as a “hero” and said it was “the right thing to do”.
The news is a huge blow to the PM just hours before she gets her MPs to vote on the deal.
Earlier today she begged MPs to get behind her tomorrow night, saying it would either mean a no deal Brexit would be likely or no Brexit AT ALL.
Speaking in Leave territory Stoke on Trent earlier she said everyone should pull together “for the country’s sake” and warned of “paralysis in Parliament” if it’s rejected.
The EU has released letters today promising that the Northern Ireland backstop would only be temporary, but Mr Johnson’s resignation shows that it’s not enough to persuade MPs to back the PM.
‘It’s going to be soon’: Corbyn hints he could launch bid to oust May THIS WEEK as he demands an election – but refuses to to say if Labour would pledge to deliver Brexit and suggests free movement rules would STAY
- Jeremy Corbyn hints at calling no-confidence motion in government this week
- Theresa May is on course for a humiliating Commons defeat over her Brexit deal
- Remainer rebels plotting to strip government of control over Commons business
- No10 fears the move could mean it is impossible for the government to carry on
Mr Corbyn made clear the party is on high alert to try to force the PM out and trigger a general election.
He suggested the Brexit date will have to be delayed if the bid succeeds, but repeatedly refused to be drawn on whether Labour would campaign on a manifesto to take the UK out of the EU.
He also declined to say if he would back a second referendum, as is being demanded by dozens of his own MPs. And he suggested free movement rules would effectively stay in place if Labour ends up negotiating a deal with Brussels.
Asked in an interview on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show whether a no-confidence vote would happen immediately if, as expected, Mrs May’s package is rejected by the Commons on Tuesday, Mr Corbyn replied: ‘It is going to be soon, don’t worry about that.’
Despite desperate last-ditch pleas, Mrs May is still facing a massive defeat in the crunch Brexit vote with hardline Remainers and Brexiteers mobilising in a bid to thwart her plans.
Pro-EU rebels are said to be plotting a ‘coup’ against the government afterwards to give Parliament control of the negotiations with the EU and rule out a no-deal departure.