Jo Johnson left his brother, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on Thursday. The brother of the prime minister also resigns from his lower house.
Unlike 47-year-old Jo Johnson, his 55-year-old brother campaigned to stay in the UK in a June 2016 referendum, ending with a narrow 51.89 percent victory for supporters.
Boris Johnson, however, has been a frontman in the hard-line Brexit campaign camp in the referendum, and has been advocating this in the ruling Conservative Party ever since.
Jo Johnson, who was Secretary of State for the Department of Business in his brother’s government until his resignation on Thursday, explained his departure as “an insoluble tension” for his family loyalty and national interests.
Jo Johnson was already a member of the previous Prime Minister Theresa May’s government as secretary of state for transport, but resigned in November last year. The reason for his departure at the time was that the May government’s proposals for a Brexit conditionality had “nothing to do with” the promises made in the EU referendum campaign.
“We have been promised a Brexit that will allow us to conclude trade agreements with everyone around the world, but with the agreement that Prime Minister (Theresa May) is preparing to reach, we will be far from that,” the former secretary of state said.
Theresa May’s government and the European Commission reached an agreement on the Brexit conditionality last November, but the London House of Representatives has since rejected it three times.
The current position of the current Prime Minister Boris Johnson is that British membership of the EU will in any case be terminated on the Brexit deadline of 31 October, whether renegotiated or not.
However, the House of Commons passed an opposition motion Wednesday night that would prohibit Boris Johnson’s government from leaving the EU without an agreement.
Boris Johnson’s 54-year-old sister, publicist and public figure for Rachel Johnson, is a vehement opponent of Brexit and joined the Liberal Democrats, the largest national parliamentary party actively campaigning against exit, ahead of the 2017 general election. This year, he joined the newly formed Party of Change against Brexit, one of the candidates in the May European elections, although he did not win a mandate.