Even more people are changing their minds on Brexit as the government prepares for a possible 'no deal' scenario. But Jacob Rees-Mogg & Co still shun an EU agreement.
What will Britain be like if a Brexit deal isn’t reached with the European Union? Will there be stockpiling of canned goods? Will the pound crash? Will war breakout?
None of these are appealing scenarios and yet many of them are possibilities, according to continuous warnings issued by experts and even some government reports.
So perhaps it isn’t too surprising that many former Leave constituencies are changing their tune.
The North East, where Brexit won by a 16 point margin in the 2016 referendum, is now equally split on the matter. And, according to a fresh YouGov poll, a further 40% would support a People’s Vote on the final deal.
The poll follows news that 100 seats that previously back Leave are now against Brexit, including the constituencies of arch-Brexiteers Michael Gove and Boris Johnson.
Undoubtedly, today’s document on the possible outcomes of a ‘no deal’ will not fill British voters with confidence.
Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab had promised that a deal is on the cards, but added that “we have a duty, as a responsible government, to plan for every eventuality.” Yikes.
Unsurprisingly, social media is having a field day with the hashtag #NoDealBrexit.
“No one is talking about leaving the single market”
“The easiest deal in history”
“No downside to Brexit, only a considerable upside”
“Here’s a guide on how to survive for a week on leaves and a rat”#NoDealBrexit
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) 23 August 2018
From mocking the Tories’ governing incompetence to spinning dystopian scenarios about post-Brexit Britain, Twitter is not the place to go to today if the topic leaves a little queasy.
But while the Cabinet braces itself for the public reaction to its ‘no deal’ contingency plan, hardcore Brexiteers are ready to bang the war-drums.
Jacob Rees-Mogg and his bunch have today published a letter to the Conservatives rank-and-file where they urge Prime Minister Theresa May to “chuck Chequers” and “believe in Britain” instead.
The letter, leaked in the Telegraph, was signed by 61 MPs and argues that:
“The government would be wrong to be fearful of Britain enjoying an independent future. Theresa May’s Chequers proposals would shackle us to the EU forever.
“We would be out of Europe yet still run by Europe. It is time the government realised that the EU stands to lose much from no deal being agreed and stopped being cowed by the EU’s threats.
“Yet most of all, it is time ‘to chuck Chequers’, respect the referendum, be out of Europe, take back control and believe in Britain.”
In turn, Labour MPs are now not rejecting the possibility of a new referendum.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said:
“I do think there needs to be a democratic check. I don’t think the Prime Minister can simply decide for herself what the future of this country looks like. I have focused on the vote in Parliament, and the meaningful vote. If that vote is to reject the Article 50 deal, Parliament must decide what happens next.
“In those circumstances, it seems to me, all options should be on the table. So we’ve not called for a vote on the deal; we’ve called for a vote in Parliament on the deal. But I accept the proposition that, if it’s voted down, Parliament then decides what happens next and in those circumstances, in my experience in the last few years, keep your options on the table not off the table.”
Hang in there people, for it seems that the Brexit ride, two years in, has only just begun.
Joana Ramiro is a reporter for Left Foot Forward. You can follow her on Twitter for all sorts of rants here.
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