Brexit : a new resignation

Theresa May leaves the back of Number 10 Downing Street

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.

"It has become increasingly clear to me that the withdrawal agreement, which is being finalised in Brussels and Whitehall even as I write, will be a bad mistake", said Johnson, who was a transport minister in the government.

The ministers have proposed that Britain continue to pay European Union membership fees up to 2021 and follow the bloc's rules to avoid a cliff edge exit when it leaves in March 2019, the Sun said.

"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 said.

Mr Johnson's sister Rachel said she was "hugely proud" of her "honourable and principled brother Jo who has put the interests of the country ahead of his political career".

On Saturday, Jeremy Corbyn was quoted in Der Spiegel, having been asked if he would stop Brexit, as saying: "We can't stop it, the referendum took place".

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

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While the United Kingdom government says it is 95% agreed - they have been unable to agree on the mechanism for ensuring that there will be no return to border checks between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, if a future trade deal is not ready in time. The critique from Johnson underscores the travails that May faces in getting any Brexit divorce deal, which London and Brussels say is 95% done, approved by her own fractious party. Such was his dissatisfaction with the deal being pursued by May that he had no option to resign his position as junior transport minister, he said.

"My brother Boris, who led the "Leave" campaign, is as unhappy with the government's proposals as I am", Jo Johnson said.

"What we can do is recognise the reasons why people voted Leave".

Jo Johnson's resignation is another boost to those calling for a new people's vote referendum on Brexit. "I've done so, if others feel that it's right for them to do so then good on them".

David Lidington said a UK-EU deal would involve "compromises, give and take on all sides" but when faced with "product on the table" in the form of an agreement backed by all 28 governments there could be a shift in attitude at Westminster.

Unlike his brother, he defended the continuation of the United Kingdom in the european Union, and today he calls for a second referendum. Talks have stalled over the contentious Ireland border.

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