Majority of public want vote on final Brexit deal - new poll

Posted On: 
11th May 2018

A new poll has found that a majority of the British public are in favour of having a vote on the final Brexit deal, with strong support among Labour backers.

Labour supporters were 69% in favour of a second vote - with only 18% opposed
PA Images

The fresh survey for the People’s Vote campaign found that 53% of voters are in favour of having a say on the final Brexit deal, with only 31% opposed.

The study, carried out by Opinium, found that among Labour supporters those figures soared to 69% in favour, with only 18% opposed to a second vote.

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Labour backbencher Chuka Umunna, one of the leading figures behind the People’s Vote campaign, said the figures showed a clear need for the Brexit deal to be put before the people.

He said: “The Brexit that people were promised is very different to the one they will get. They were told we could get all the economic benefits of the EU after we left, but that is patently not the case as new facts emerge every week.

“650 MPs alone should not determine the destinies of 65 million people on such a big issue.”

Public support for a second vote is likely to embolden Mr Umunna’s group of Labour backbenchers who have been urging Jeremy Corbyn to back a Norway-style soft Brexit by pushing for Britain’s membership of the European Economic Area.

Labour MP Gareth Thomas, who earlier this week managed to pass a People’s Vote Bill through its first stages in the House of Commons, further piled pressure on Mr Corbyn, saying: “Whether you think Brexit is a good deal or a bad deal, there’s no denying it’s a big deal … the people of this country must decide whether or not the Brexit on offer is the right path.”

The new poll comes in the wake of a difficult week for the Labour leader on Brexit after a total of 83 Labour peers defied party orders to abstain and instead voted for Britain to join Norway in the EEA, effectively keeping the UK in the single market. That marked the largest rebellion by Labour peers in years.

Yesterday the SDLP – Labour’s sister party in Northern Ireland ­– sent a letter urging Mr Corbyn to “have the courage” to support British membership in the EEA when the vote comes before the Commons later this month.

But a spokesperson for the Labour leader said that supporting EEA membership was not the party's position.

"As we made clear by our whipping for abstention, we’ve made quite clear that we favour a new relationship with the single market. We favour negotiating a new customs union with the EU with a British say in future trade deals, and that’s why we took that position," he said.

"We’ve set up and we’re united behind that position at the leadership level and the Shadow Cabinet level."

The spokesman added: "We’re trying to make the case for a Brexit that puts the economy and jobs and living standards first and to unite as much of the country on both sides of the Leave/Remain divide together in negotiating a jobs-first Brexit.

"The EEA membership includes a number of different types of relationship, but it’s not what we are proposing."