Friday 10 August 2018 - People's Vote

Friday 10 August 2018

Morning briefing: Giant poll pro People's Vote - a 'compromise'? - Jim Ratcliffe

It’s one of the biggest surveys of public opinion on Brexit since the referendum - with 10,000 people participating. And it shows that a People’s Vote on Brexit is the most popular route to resolving the ongoing crisis. What’s more, if talks break down and we face a choice between no-deal and staying in the EU, the support for a People’s Vote skyrockets to two to one.

The YouGov poll, commissioned by the People’s Vote campaign, showed 45% of people support a People’s Vote on the outcome of negotiations, with only 34% opposing. If talks break down, that figure rises to 50% to 25%.

The survey also showed:

  • If there was a referendum vote today, it would be 53-47 in favour of staying in the EU (that rises to 56-44 if we face no deal).
  • 77% of Labour voters would stay in the EU. 63% support a People’s Vote.
  • A gender gap is emerging over Brexit, with 50% of men backing staying in the EU compared with 56% of women.
  • 73% agreed: “Many of the promises made by the Leave campaign will be broken.”
  • 68% agreed: “We will get a bad deal from Brexit talks” (64% blame the government).
  • By almost two-to-one, people think trading freely with the EU matters more than controlling EU immigration.


A significant slice of Leave voters say they might be persuaded to shift by new evidence of the damage Brexit would do to the NHS. An even higher proportion say the prospect of having to obey EU regulations in which Britain would have no say would make them doubt the point of leaving.

This poll puts pressure on Theresa May, with her government set to take the blame for a bad deal.

But perhaps there is more pause for thought for the Labour leadership, especially with a four-point lead for the Conservatives in the opinion polls reported in The Times today. Backing a People’s Vote could be the perfect tonic to Labour’s ailing performance by putting what Ben Bradshaw MP has called "clear red water" between the Opposition and the Conservatives.

But for both parties the message is clear: momentum is growing not only in Westminster but across the country for the voters’ democratic voice to be heard on the terms of Brexit before the UK takes a final decision to leave.


Quote of the day

“There could be a lesson from history. In the Scottish referendum in 2014, there was a big gender gap, with a small majority of men voting for independence, and a large majority of women voting against independence. We could be seeing the early stages of a similar trend, especially if we end up with a No Brexit vs No Deal referendum, with women more concerned with the dangers of upheaval.”

Pollster and former YouGov president Peter Kellner on the gender divide emerging around Brexit

Tweet of the day

Sports presenter Gabby Logan has joined the campaign for a People's Vote! 


European Movement are hiring! The organisation, a founding member of People's Vote, is looking for two campaigns officers (one based in Scotland, one in the West Midlands) and an admin officer based in London. Know someone who'd be a perfect fit? Tell them to get in touch!

Like Ratcliffes from a sinking ship

Jim Ratcliffe, the Brexit-backing petrochemical engineer named the wealthiest man in Britain, is upping sticks and scuttling off to Monaco. Not only that, but two of the Ineos owner’s top executives are moving with him. And there’s more: Ratcliffe’s new venture into the automotive industry to produce a successor to the discontinued Land Rover Defender will be developed in… Germany.

This is the man who, following a move to Switzerland after falling out with Labour, announced to much fanfare his return to the UK in 2016. It’s the latest example of a Brexiter failing to put his money, and his business, where his mouth is. Perhaps Ratcliffe has had a word with Jacob Rees-Mogg?

Video of the day

WATCH: leading businessman and Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne said "I'm out" to the EU in 2016. But now he's joining fellow dragon Deborah Meaden in saying yes to a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal.


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Immigration solutions don’t require leaving EU

The CBI has laid out what it thinks the UK’s post-Brexit immigration policy should look like. The business group’s proposals include registering arrivals from the EU, restricting their stay to three months "unless they can prove that they are working, studying or are self-sufficient", and limiting access to social benefits.

These are sensible ideas - which could largely be achieved right now without leaving the EU, should any UK government wish to apply them. The government says it will be publishing its own immigration plans later in the year. If they look anything like the CBI’s, then the idea of severing ourselves from the EU’s single market on the basis of controlling EU immigration will look rather daft.

Graphic of the day 

Momentum behind the People's Vote campaign is growing - ahead of the People's Vote South West rally this weekend, a clear margin of voters in the South West are demanding a vote on the final Brexit deal. 


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Who’s behind latest Brexit ‘compromise’?

Is there a "Jersey compromise" over Brexit that might allow the UK access to the single market for goods, while ending free movement of people? Or is it just a flight of midsummer fancy?

The Telegraph today picks up the "scoop" first published in The Times yesterday, without a single word of serious sourcing. It merely says the European Commission “declined to comment on the plan, but did not deny that member states may be discussing it”.

Even the Times did not appear to have the courage of its convictions: the exclusive was buried halfway down a story on the slump in sterling on page 4 of the paper.

The idea - based on the current system in Jersey - would require the UK to accept "all future EU environmental and social protections", which would mean even more rule-taking than May’s current plan proposes. That won’t float with Brexiters or patriotic pro-Europeans.

It sounds more like a leak from Downing Street, suggesting first signs of divergence between EU member states and their negotiator Michel Barnier. That's just what May and her ministers have been rushing round EU capitals trying to stir up, waving their Chequers plan. Best not to believe it until you see a proper source in Brussels!

Video of the day 2

WATCH: Brexiters used to promise that Brexit would boost the NHS - but the reality is that Brexit will harm the NHS. That's why we're demanding a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal.


More Brexit news…

Revealed: details of Russian offer to Banks (Guardian)

Brexit football transfer fee hikes 'enough to buy two Mo Salahs' (Sky)

Falling pound and stagnant wages hit households hard (Times £)

Pound vigilantes limber up for battle to block no-deal Brexit (Bloomberg)

Brexit uncertainty puts EU nationals at risk of losing their homes, landlords group warns (Independent)

Top Brexit comment

Looking forward...

Today, Friday 10 August

- Parliament in recess
09:30 ONS: GDP figures published

Tomorrow, Saturday 11 August 

12:30 South West People's Vote rally, Bristol