BREAKING: Majority back new in-out EU referendum in event of ‘no deal’

The findings come in the wake of a government defeat on membership of the European Economic Area - and amid growing splits in the main parties.

Most voters with a view would support a fresh in-out referendum on membership of the European Union if Theresa May fails to agree a post-Brexit deal, according to a new poll by BMG Research for Left Foot Forward.

The findings come as tensions mount within the Conservatives over whether to stay in the European Economic Area, following government defeats in the Lords last night.

53% of those with a view would back a second vote – to 47% against – if the UK were left with no preferential trade or customs arrangement with the EU after Brexit, the BMG poll for Left Foot Forward found.

The poll also finds: 

  • A third (33%) of Conservatives would back a second vote, compared 71% of current Labour supporters (‘don’t knows’ excluded).
  • There is a significant age divide: 69% of 18-24 year olds would back a new referendum in the event of ‘no deal’, compared to only 43% of over 55s with a view.
  • The figure is particularly high in the capital: 65% of Londoners with a view would back a second referendum.

The findings suggest there would be support for a fresh say on leaving the EU if a divided Cabinet cannot agree a deal with EU negotiators.

A 10 Minute Rule motion from Labour MP Gareth Thomas will call for a ‘People’s Vote’ on the final Brexit deal today.

Several Labour figures have backed a second referendum, including Shadow Health Minister Lord Hunt, Tony Blair, and Owen Smith.

Josiah Mortimer, Editor of Left Foot Forward, said:

“As we edge ever closer to our departure date, the prospect of ‘no deal’ seems ever more likely as battles grow in both the main parties over membership of the European Economic Area and the Customs Union.

“The Cabinet are deeply divided – meaning May will struggle to push through an agreeable trade package. That brings us closer to closer to the prospect of exiting with no deal agreed – with the government scrabbling to pick up the pieces.

“The Labour leadership’s lack of clarity won’t help the situation either – the failure to agree a united position leaves many progressive voters in the lurch, and wanting a fresh say. Staying in the EU will begin to seem like a much more agreeable scenario than crashing out on WTO terms.

“Peers voted at the end of last month to give lawmakers the final say on the outcome of Brexit negotiations with Brussels – including staying in the bloc if they do not like the final agreement. That includes what happens in a ‘no deal’ scenario.

“But voters will want a chance to rethink Brexit altogether – and that position will only get stronger if divisions in the Cabinet and the Labour party continue to grow.”

Best for Britain CEO Eloise Todd said:

“People want a final say – and this poll is yet more evidence of that. People voted for departure, and we should let them vote on the destination – especially as crashing out of Europe in a No Deal Brexit is still a possibility.

“What is stark is that we are 325 days until UK becomes a third country under EU law, and the government can’t decide between two options already rejected by the other side of the negotiation. It is farcical. The Brexit war cabinet is more like a warring cabinet that is split completely down the middle. They have no plan and no clue.”

Open Britain’s Deputy Director, Francis Grove-White, said:

“With the Brexit negotiations descending into increasing chaos, with the Government’s authority slipping away, and with the risk of a chaotic no deal Brexit increasing, the British people are increasingly supportive of a People’s Vote on our proposed withdrawal from the EU.

“The Brexit that is being delivered is quite clearly not the one that was promised to people, which only enhances the need to have a People’s Vote on the terms of Brexit.

“Whether you think Brexit is a good deal or a bad deal, we all agree that it’s a big deal. It cannot be left up to just 650 MPs in Westminster to decide: the 65 million people of this country must have their voices heard as well.”

The Lib Dems’ Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake MP added:

“Given the calamity of this divided Tory Government, it is no surprise that more and more people are backing the campaign for a final say on the deal, and an opportunity to Exit from Brexit.

“The longer that Tory ministers bicker like children over the UK’s future relationship with the rest of the EU, the stronger the case for a final say becomes. There is no doubt now, the needle of public opinion is moving, and fast.”

Source note: BMG Research poll of 1500 GB adults aged 18+. Fieldwork was conducted between the 1st and 4th May. 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. In this scenario, would you support a second referendum on Brexit?

See also: A Labour MP is calling for a second Brexit referendum in Parliament today

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