Exclusive poll for Left Foot Forward shows most people would now back fresh referendum if trade talks fail.
Most voters would support a fresh in-out referendum on membership of the European Union if Theresa May could not secure a post-Brexit deal, according to a new poll by BMG Research for Left Foot Forward.
54% of those with a view would back a second vote – to 46% against – if the UK were left with no preferential trade or customs arrangement with the EU after Brexit, the BMG poll found.
74% of 18-24 year olds would back a new referendum in the event of ‘no deal’, compared to only 40% of over 55s with a view.
31% of Conservatives would back a second vote, compared 70% of current Labour supporters.
The findings come after comments today from Michael Gove suggesting voters will be able to force changes to an EU withdrawal deal at the next election if they do not support it, and comments from Tony Blair this week arguing Brexit should be reversed.
The figure is particularly high for Scotland, with 77% of Scots supporting a fresh in-out vote if talks were unsuccessful. That drops to 42% of people in the East of England.
A surprising one in five (21%) Leave voters would support another referendum if the negotiations failed and the UK was left to trade under World Trade Organisation rules. 80% of Remain voters would back a fresh vote.
Chuka Umunna, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on EU Relations, said:
“Brexit is not inevitable and Article 50 is revocable, so this poll is significant.
“Brexit, in the terms it was sold to the British people, is proving undeliverable. It is very different to what was touted around by Boris Johnson and co during the referendum campaign.
“Every week new facts emerge – such as a whopping great divorce bill and no extra monies for the NHS – which justify keeping an open mind as to whether we should Brexit at the end of this process. There is so much no one really thought would be impacted by Brexit, like the settlement in Northern Ireland, which no one could have been expected to foresee.”
Josiah Mortimer, Editor of Left Foot Forward, said:
“When it comes to the negotiations, voters are clearly not prepared to accept ‘no deal’ as an option. That this includes nearly a third of Conservatives and one in five Leave voters shows that this is an issue which crosses political lines, and raises difficult questions for the Prime Minister.
“This week’s ‘breakthrough’ has paved the way for trade talks, and it is clear that the PM will have to contend with a whole range of tensions around which direction to take them in – including the chaos within her own party. That’s not to mention the leadership ambitions that have been bubbling up amid the Single Market/Customs Union debate.
“Voters are clearly not messing around. If Theresa May is unable to secure a decent Brexit deal, they want the chance to think again about whether to leave the EU on worse terms. When the facts change, voters want to be able to change their minds. That adds a lot of pressure to these talks – and to the hard Brexiteers trying to suggest ‘no deal’ is a genuine option. Clearly to voters, it is not.”
BMG interviewed a representative sample of 1,509 adults living in Great Britain between 5th and 8th December. Data are weighted. BMG are members of the British polling council and abide by their rules.
The question asked was: “Imagine a scenario where the UK Government and the European Union were unable to reach a deal – a scenario sometimes referred to as a “no deal” Brexit. A “no deal” Brexit would result in the UK having no preferential trading and customs arrangements with the EU, leaving us to trade with the EU on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. In this scenario, would you support a new in-out referendum on EU membership?”
Left Foot Forward will be releasing more polling over the coming days. Watch this space…
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