The Brexit talks took a new blow on Friday in the Theresa May government, with the resignation of Jo Johnson, British Secretary of State for Transport and brother of the former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson.
At the same time, the Conservative Prime Minister faces the opposition of the Northern DUP party, which is essential for its absolute majority in Parliament. He accuses him of wanting to sacrifice British unity for an agreement with Brussels, and the threat of voting against the negotiated agreement when he is presented to Parliament.
"It became clear to me that the withdrawal agreement, which is being defined, would be a terrible mistake," wrote Jo Johnson in a text published online entitled "Why I Can not Support" Agreement on Brexit proposed by the Government ".
It deplores "the choice left to the British people", between an agreement that would "weaken" the country economically and exit without agreement, which would have inflicted "unquantified damages" in the United Kingdom.
Jo Johnson, who had voted for him to stay in the EU, said he was "just as unhappy" with the British government's proposal as his brother Boris, and used arguments often used by his older brother.
"Instead of resuming + control, we will hand over control to other European countries," he says. "The government's proposals will transform us into a country outside Europe but still led by Europe, obliged to respect rules that we will not be able to draft".
London and Brussels are currently trying to agree on a divorce agreement that includes a transition period after the UK release date, March 29, 2019, to give them time to negotiate an agreement on their future relationship.
Believing that the United Kingdom is on the verge of the "biggest crisis since the Second World War", Jo Johnson calls for a second referendum for the British "to confirm their decision" to leave the EU and, if necessary, he talks about the agreement
A spokesperson for Theresa May immediately replied that a second referendum was excluded, thanking Jo Johnson for her work in the government.
His departure and his stance against the government's strategy were met by both his brother Boris, pro-Brexit camp leader, and Anna Soubry, a conservative member in favor of maintaining the EU.
– DUP threats –
The negotiations between London and Brussels continue to stumble on how to maintain an invisible border between the British province of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
But signs of compromise emerged this week, suggesting the conclusion of an agreement in the coming days.
However, the North-Irish Unionist party DUP, a government ally, threatened not to vote in parliament if Ireland had received special treatment that would have distinguished the province from the rest of Britain.
"It seems that the Prime Minister clings to the idea of a border in the Irish Sea," Arlene Foster announced on Twitter on Friday.
But Theresa May, who hopes to quickly conclude the negotiations with Brussels to allow the British Parliament to vote before the parliamentary interruption at the end of the year, needs the ten votes of the DUP, without the absolute majority of the House of Commons.
This thorn at the feet of the British leader complicates his position in the discussions with Brussels.
Subject of critical upheavals within his conservative party, particularly for advocates of a clear break with the EU, on the road to bringing forward the Brexit, Theresa May has already undergone numerous resignations in her government.
In July, David Davis, minister in charge of Brexit, and Boris Johnson, the minister of foreign affairs, slammed the door, in disagreement with his strategy.