Thursday 23 August 2018 - People's Vote

Thursday 23 August 2018

Morning briefing: North East now 50/50 on Brexit - no deal papers imminent

Even the most heavily Leave-voting region of the country is now so aghast at Theresa May’s calamitous Brexit that it’s turning away from the idea entirely, a new YouGov poll for the People’s Vote campaign has shown.

The North East, which backed Brexit by a 16-point margin in 2016, is now equally split on whether to quit the EU. There is also clear support for a People’s Vote if the prime minister does a deal - with 40% in favour and 35% against. If we were to face a no-deal Brexit, backing for a new vote jumps to 54%. Among Labour voters, support for a People’s Vote is especially strong - piling further pressure on Jeremy Corbyn.


Today we get to see the first batch of government advice for a no-deal Brexit. In a speech ahead of these “technical notices”, Brexit secretary Dominic Raab is expected to try and shift the blame onto the EU for any no-deal fallout, warning his negotiating partners to be “responsible”. In fact, if we crash out over the abyss, the blame belongs to incompetent ministers and Brexit ideologues.

We are talking about a no-deal scenario at this late stage in the talks because the government has failed to come up with a workable plan. Nobody likes Theresa May’s Chequers proposal. The EU is worried it will undermine its single market. Patriotic pro-Europeans object to the UK abandoning its seat at the EU’s top table to become a rule-taker. And hardline Tory Brexiters are furious too - with Jacob Rees-Mogg today writing a letter to Conservative grassroots activists today telling them to “chuck Chequers”.

But the “chuck Chequers” brigade are the biggest advocates of no-deal out there. And their plan - essentially an abyss labelled a “clean Brexit” - is murky as hell.


With politicians pulling in all directions, the most chaotic of Brexits is looking more likely. In advance of the government’s papers today, yet more warnings have emerged:

You can read my round-up of previous warnings on InFacts here.

Even the talk of no-deal is stifling investment into the UK economy, as David Smith writes in The Times. It’s also got consumers concerned, making them consider cutting back on spending according to a new KPMG study.

The politicians who have created this crisis cannot clear up the mess. The people must take back control - whether the prime minister gets her miserable deal or the Moggites get their nightmarish abyss. That’s why more and more people, from across the nation, are demanding a People’s Vote.


Tweet of the day

Looking for a preview of today's no-deal Brexit papers? See below from journalist Gavin Esler.


Video of the day

Heading to the People's Vote North East rally in Newcastle this Saturday? Here's a taste of what to expect, from the best bits of last weekend's Edinburgh event.


Please share on Facebook and Twitter.

Quote of the day

“By 54-22 per cent Labour voters [in the North East] also back a public vote when the Brexit negotiations are complete. The political significance of this is hard to overstate. Labour’s leadership, and many of its MPs, have been cautious about backing UK membership of the EU, or supporting a public vote, for fear of alienating pro-Brexit Labour voters.

“This survey shows that the reason for fear has significantly diminished – and the greater danger now for Labour could be to alienate the big and growing majority of pro-EU and pro-public-vote majority among Labour supporters, even in the party’s heartlands.”

Peter Kellner, pollster and former president of YouGov

Tweet of the day 2

Stockton South MP (and bona fide GP) Paul Williams on why Saturday's North East People's Vote rally is a big deal.



Video of the day 2

The row around Labour front-bencher Barry Gardiner's claims that giving the people the final say on Brexit is "undemocratic" continue to rage on Twitter. Here's a response from OFOC's Will Dry, explaining why he voted Leave and has since changed his mind.



More Brexit news…

The Tory secret weapon? It’s not Boris Johnson (Guardian)

Business chiefs rank Corbyn as next scariest threat after Brexit, says poll (FT)

Brexit holds up UK Labour split — for now (Politico)

Top Brexit comment

Politico: Bad deal or no-deal Brexit? There is a third way (Hugo Dixon)

Looking forward...

Today, Thursday 23 August

- Parliament in recess
- Government publishing first batch of no-deal "technical" documents
09:30 ONS: Migration statistics
11:00 Dominic Raab speaking in Commons ahead of no-deal documents release

Tomorrow, Friday 24 August

- Parliament in recess