Support for staying in the European Union has jumped to its highest level since the 2016 referendum in the wake of the crushing Commons defeat for Theresa May’s deal.
A new YouGov poll reveals 56 per cent of voters would choose Remain if given the chance in a fresh referendum. Only 44 per cent said they would vote Leave. The 12-point lead for Remain is a big increase from eight points at the end of last year, and will be seen as evidence that voters are losing confidence in Brexit.
It is three times as big as the four-point margin that Leave secured in the 2016 referendum to commit Britain to quitting the EU. Support has also grown for a second referendum, found YouGov’s survey of 1,000 adults, which was commissioned by the People’s Vote campaign but conducted independently.
Some 47 per cent of the public back a new vote, or 56 per cent for and 44 against after excluding don’t knows.
The snap poll was conducted after Tuesday night’s record-breaking Commons vote against Mrs May’s withdrawal blueprint, which was crushed by 432 votes to 202.
Last night the Prime Minister managed to unite the Tories and her on-off Democratic Unionist Party allies to resist a Labour motion of no confidence by 325 votes to 306. Labour MP Chuka Umunna, a leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, urged party leader Jeremy Corbyn to read the results and back a referendum.
“This snap poll shows more than ever why the Government needs to change course and hand this decision on Brexit back to the people,” he said.
“The poll also underlines why the leadership of my party needs to listen to Labour’s own supporters, more than three-quarters of whom are demanding a People’s Vote. To ignore those calls now would be an historic mistake for which Labour would not be forgiven.”
Scottish Secretary David Mundell effectively ruled out holding a second referendum today, despite the Prime Minister offering talks with other parties aimed at finding a consensus.
“She’s not going down a route to stop Brexit,” he said, saying the talks were only designed to produce “an orderly Brexit” route. “Everything is up for discussion but what isn’t going to be an outcome is arrangements that seek to stop Brexit, which I believe the People’s Vote is designed to do.”
But the Scottish National Party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford and Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable both used talks to push for a referendum.
Conservative supporters of a second EU referendum this morning launched a “Right to Vote” campaign in an attempt to push Mrs May into holding a re-run of the 2016 plebiscite.
Former minister Phillip Lee, who quit last year to campaign against Brexit, claimed Tory support for a fresh poll was “underestimated” and “growing fast”. “I know from private conversations at Parliament that backing among my colleagues for a referendum is there and is growing fast,” he said.More than 170 leading figures, including architect Lord Foster and Nobel Prize winner Sir Paul Nurse,have called for Mrs May and Mr Corbyn to back a second referendum.
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