Polling shows support for Remain rising with just 100 days to go
PUBLISHED: 08:40 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 08:47 19 December 2018
With exactly 100 days to go to the scheduled date of Brexit, supporters of a People’s Vote have warned of crisis unless the correct path is found through the current uncertainty.
Labour’s David Lammy said the prime minister was heading for “disaster” from which neither she nor her party would recover if she tried to dodge growing pressure for a People’s Vote, and allowed the clock to run down to a no-deal Brexit on March 29 2019.
Their comments came as campaigners released new analysis of polling which they said showed increased support for a second referendum in every part of the country - including the constituencies of the prime minister and leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson.
Best for Britain said its data modelling suggested that support for remaining in the EU was running as high as 56% against 44% for leaving - a larger margin than has been seen in any mainstream poll since the 2016 referendum.
Lammy, a supporter of Best for Britain, said that May had to confront the fact that there was no majority in Parliament for the deal she has negotiated with Brussels, or for any other proposed deal, such as Norway-style single market membership or a Canada-plus free trade agreement.
If there was no second referendum, the next most likely outcome was departure without a deal - even though there is “certainly” no majority in Parliament for that - he said.
“The political confusion amounts to a constitutional crisis,” said Lammy.
He said it would be “futile” for MPs to express their preferences on alternative deals in an “indicative vote”, as this would simply eat up more time without producing a decisive result.
“I believe that politics is stuck and when politics and the political establishment is stuck, in our system the only way to unlock it is to go back to the people in the hope that we get a clear instruction from the British population,” he said.
While that could be done through a general election, a clearer route would be a second EU referendum.
“The pressure that Theresa May is under as of today is to understand what is the best Plan B,” said Lammy.
“There are lots of people, including in her own party, advising her that the best Plan B is a second referendum.
“It may be her instinct to run down the clock to get to a no-deal Brexit, which I think would be a disaster that I don’t think she or the Conservatives would recover from.
“It would leave the country badly, badly, badly divided and in a chaotic state.”
Lammy said he believed that 100 days from now, Britain would have secured an extension of Article 50 and be preparing for a second vote, possibly in June. And he said he and other Remain campaigners should accept the result of a new referendum as definitive.
“I feel the public are way more informed than they were previously and therefore it is incumbent on all of us to absolutely get behind whatever the instruction is from the British people at the end of a second referendum.”
Tory former cabinet minister Nicky Morgan said MPs would have to decide whether to stay “stuck in their own views” or “compromise sufficiently” in the coming weeks.
She said there would be an “almighty battle between Parliament and government” if May’s deal fails to pass the Commons, and warned that a no-deal outcome would be “deeply, deeply damaging” to the country, economy and people’s financial prosperity.
And she said: “I think eventually Parliament is going to have to decide, MPs on all sides are going to have to decide whether they’re going to stay stuck in their own views or whether they are prepared to compromise sufficiently to find a majority around a position which delivers the referendum result but does it with a soft Brexit.”