Brexiteer tries to claim no-deal is the 'most popular option' with public

PUBLISHED: 14:15 28 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:15 28 March 2019

Robert Oulds, chair of the Thatcherite Bruges group, was debating Remain campaigner Jessica Simor QC on Sky News. Photograph: Sky.

Robert Oulds, chair of the Thatcherite Bruges group, was debating Remain campaigner Jessica Simor QC on Sky News. Photograph: Sky.

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A Brexiteer wrongly claimed in a television debate that polls are supporting a no-deal Brexit and that there was little support for a People's Vote.

That is despite pollsters now acknowledging that the trend is suggesting the complete opposite.

Robert Oulds, chair of the Thatcherite Bruges group, was debating Remain campaigner Jessica Simor QC, who pointed out that opinion polls are suggesting that a People’s Vote is not the way out of this mess.

“There is a majority in the country in favour of another vote, the polls showed that yesterday,” she said.

But the Brexiteer believed that the polls did not support her claim.

Oulds said: “There are other opinion polls which show the alternative position; there is no clear support for another referendum, another divisive referendum. What there is support for, and increasing support, is leaving the European Union without Theresa May’s deal.”

He continued: “It is the biggest and most popular option available. That is according to the opinion polls.

“Leaving the European Union without Theresa May’s deal has more support than leaving with Theresa May’s deal or second referendum or general election. This has been clear in the opinion polls.”

MORE: Poll which newspapers claimed showed no-deal Brexit support actually reveals public backs Remain

But as Simor was given an opportunity to clarify her point she pointed to Sky News’ own poll which showed the preferred outcome of the indicative votes was a second referendum.

While the Brexiteer acknowledged the poll may have pointed to this he referred to pollster Professor John Curtice.

He said: “John Curtice, the leading expert in polling, said there is no clear mandate for another referendum... John Curtice is the leading expert. We can all talk about and choose our own polls, but let’s implement the biggest poll in British political history. The referendum on the 23rd June 2016.”

But as reported by The New European pollster Curtice said this week that Leave is no longer the “will of the people”.

He also said that staying in the EU is now the preferred option with support for a People’s Vote now outnumbering its opponents.

As Twitter users vented their frustration that the Leave commentator was making incorrect claims, the presenter went on to read the result of the Sky poll to support the Remainer.

The poll found that 40% would support a second referendum while 35% would reject the proposal - a majority out of the indicative proposals. That was more popular than a no-deal Brexit with just 35% support and 44% against it, and the 26% for Theresa May’s deal compared to the 42% against.

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