Mon, 17 May 2021

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Public would back fresh three-option Brexit referendum - new poll

Public would back fresh three-option Brexit referendum - new poll
3 min read

Half of Britain's voters would now support a second referendum on membership of the European Union, a new poll has revealed.

Calls for a vote on the final deal negotiated with the EU have been growing in recent months, with a string of high-profile MPs throwing their weight behind the campaign for a so-called 'People's Vote'.

A new poll for Sky News finds that 50% of the public would now back a referendum which asked the public to choose between three options: backing the final deal, leaving without a deal, or staying in the EU.

That was the idea proposed earlier this month by former Cabinet minister Justine Greening.

Some 40% percent of respondents were opposed to the plan, with 10% saying they did not know.

In a boost for pro-Remain campaigners, the survey finds that 48% of voters would opt to stay in the EU if such a vote were held, with 27% preferring the 'no deal' option.

Meanwhile, just 13% said they would back the Government's deal in a three-option referendum, while 8% said they would not vote and 3% said they did not know.

The same poll also reveals that Theresa May's personal approval ratings have nosedived, with 74% now disatisfied with her performance, up 14 points since the last study.

In a further blow to the Prime Minister, almost two-thirds (65%) of voters now believe the Government is on course to get a bad deal in the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

Sky's study gauged the views of 1,466 people between the 20th and 23rd of July.


The survey's findings were unveiled as ministers were accused of reviving "project Fear" in a bid to spook voters about the consequences of a 'no deal' Brexit.

It was reported over the weekend that the army could be dispatched onto the streets of Britain to help dole out vital supplies in the event of disruption caused by the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal.

The Government had also been due to publish a string of weekly reports advising the public how best to prepare for a 'no deal' scenario over the summer.

But the reports are now set to be published on a single day in August, and Brexiteers fear they will focus solely on the negative consequences of a hard exit.

A Cabinet source told the Telegraph: "It is designed by No 10 to do the opposite of what Brexiteers want. We could have made a strong case for no deal and said we were prepared. The way they are presenting it makes it look like Armageddon.

"It is a kamikaze approach to no-deal. The truth is, it's total chaos. They are deliberately trying to make no-deal look bad."

Senior Eurosceptic Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith meanwhile told the paper such a strategy would only strengthen the EU's hand in talks with the UK.

"If it is Project Fear it will be the worst of all worlds because it will send a signal to Europe that they are so desperate to avoid doing this, the European Union will have them over a barrel," he said.

"It needs to be a positive message about being in control. If it is a negative message then it will result in the worst negotiation I have ever seen in my life."

Mrs May last week insisted voters could take "comfort" from government plans to stockpile medicines and food in the event of 'no deal' disruption.

"I think people should take reassurance from the fact this is a government that is saying ‘you know what, we are going to be responsible about this, we are going to be sensible about this’," she said.


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