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It found that 83% of people were sick of seeing Brexit on the news every day, 64% believed the attendant anxiety was bad for people’s mental health, and more than two-thirds felt Brexit became more confusing the more they heard about it. Asked whether or not they agreed with the statement “I’m not impressed with what either the Conservative party or the Labour party have been doing on Brexit”, 84% of respondents concurred. Seventy per cent said a general election “would not resolve anything”. There was greater division on the way forward: 39% said the UK should cancel Brexit and 46% backed a departure with no deal. Almost three years on from the EU referendum, 30% of people said they still firmly backed Brexit and 34% were equally strongly against the idea. When asked to choose which out of more than a dozen politicians and institutions they would consider most likely to deliver a good outcome on Brexit, “none of these” was the clear winner on 28%. Theresa May was next, on 16%, ahead of Jeremy Corbyn on 9% and Boris Johnson on 5%. Why there’s nothing to fear from putting Brexit to the people – again | Bobby McDonagh Read more The findings are not overly cheering for the prime minister but are even less so for Corbyn. While 51% of people said May seemed concerned more with party politics than the national interest, 70% said the same of the Labour leader. Focus groups conducted as part of the research uncovered some grudging admiration for May’s endless efforts over Brexit.
The Electoral Commission believed it would “not be in the public interest” to investigate whether Vote Leave committed a second breach of referendum spending laws, according to the website OpenDemocracy. Last week Vote Leave dropped its appeal against a £61,000 fine for breaking the EU referendum spending limit by donating hundreds of thousands of pounds to the pro-Brexit activist Darren Grimes. Boris Johnson and Michael Gove under fire on Vote Leave’s law-breaking Read more Last year an investigation by the BBC’s Spotlight programme reported that online adverts placed on behalf of the DUP were booked by Vote Leave’s director in Northern Ireland. The commission subsequently announced that it had considered the allegations but would not be launching an investigation because it did not have sufficient evidence. At the time, it said: “After requesting further evidence from BBC Northern Ireland and being told that there was no ‘significant information’ other than what was in the programme, the commission considered whether other sources were available to evidence the allegations made in it. A document unearthed in the course of the case reveals that the commission also believed that even if it had found sufficient evidence of Vote Leave coordinating with the DUP, there would be no public interest in investigating the matter because Vote Leave had already been found to have coordinated with Grimes. “How many other times did the Electoral Commission fail to investigate because it didn’t think it was in the public interest for us to know?” Maugham said. “We are an evidence-based regulator and undertake our work to the highest standards,” the spokesperson said. “We had requested further evidence from BBC Northern Ireland that first aired the allegations. This decision was taken in line with our enforcement policy.”
Tom Watson has called on Labour to support a second Brexit referendum under all circumstances if the party is to beat the Conservatives in a general election. As the party considers whether to call another no-confidence vote in Theresa May’s government, its deputy leader said a people’s vote would bring the country back together. His latest call comes after May’s deal was struck down for a third time in the Commons on Friday, and as MPs prepare to vote on a series of Brexit options, including a second referendum, on Monday. The Labour frontbencher Melanie Onn, the MP for Grimsby, resigned from her shadow position last week to join a rebellion against the party’s backing for a second referendum, while three shadow cabinet members abstained on the vote. Labour’s plan for a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal can heal the country | Tom Watson Read more In words that will increase pressure upon fellow Labour MPs who have argued against a second referendum, Watson said: “It seems inconceivable that if there was a general election that a people’s vote was not in that manifesto.” Labour confirmed on Wednesday it would expect MPs to support a motion, tabled by Margaret Beckett, which said parliament should not ratify any Brexit deal “unless and until” it has been approved in a confirmatory public vote. Onn was among 27 MPs who rebelled and voted against the amendment, including the mayor of the Sheffield city region, Dan Jarvis, as well as other vocal referendum sceptics Caroline Flint, John Mann and Gareth Snell. It will be among the options put back to MPs for further ballot. Following the third rejection by the Commons of May’s Brexit deal, Thornberry said the prime minster was “out of control”. That is not meaningful, that is not democracy. “No wonder she is in trouble.
Jeremy Corbyn will whip Labour MPs to support a Brexit referendum in the indicative votes – but could face a wave of resignations from frontbenchers determined not to back it. One shadow minister warned Labour would face “a very significant rebellion” if it tried to force MPs to back the motion, and another said: “If we whip for it, we won’t have a shadow cabinet by the end of the day.” The motion, tabled by Dame Margaret Beckett, suggests parliament should not ratify any Brexit deal “unless and until” it has been approved in a “confirmatory public vote”. Gardiner also suggested Labour was concerned that the motion could suggest the party would allow Theresa May’s deal to pass if it led to a referendum. “To put that up as the only alternative in a public vote and say we will let it go through looks as though you believe that, at the end of it, remain would be the result. “Our policy is clearly that we would support a public vote to stop no deal or to stop a bad deal, but not that we would allow a bad deal as long as the public had the opportunity to reject Brexit altogether.” He said Labour could not be portrayed as a party that wanted remain at any price. “The Labour party is not a remain party now. Beckett said she had been led to believe Labour would support plans for a confirmatory referendum; and the Guardian understands scores of MPs met in parliament later, to demand that the party whip for it. Read more McDonnell said Gardiner’s comments were “exactly in line with party policy” and that the decision would be made on whether to whip the Beckett motion after the Speaker, John Bercow, has selected the motions for debate. Asked whether he agreed with Gardiner that Labour was not a remain party, he said: “We had to accept in our manifesto respect for the referendum result. On the floor of the House of Commons there could be a coalition around that.” Corbyn’s spokesman later confirmed the party would whip for Beckett’s “confirmatory public vote” option – as well as the one put forward by Gareth Snell and Ken Clarke, calling for a customs union, and the one setting out Labour’s own Brexit policy.
Almost three years ago the UK voted in favour of leaving the EU. Trouble is, voters themselves - including not least those who voted Leave - have become deeply critical of how the UK government has handled Brexit negotiations. However, as many as 80% of Leave voters now say that it has handled Brexit negotiations badly. Remarkably, Leave voters are now just as critical of the UK government's role as they are of the EU's: 79% of Leave supporters say the EU has handled Brexit badly. Will the UK get a good deal? As many as 66% of Leave supporters now believe that the UK is faced with a bad deal - even more than the 64% of Remain voters who express that view. Do UK voters still want to leave the EU? In part, this is because Leave voters are a little less likely to say they would vote the same way again (82%), than Remain voters are (86%). How young and old would vote on Brexit now Do people support another referendum? Some polls introduce the idea of another ballot as a "people's vote", or a "public vote" and do not make it clear that remaining in the EU would be an option.