Diplomats’ hopes rise for another Brexit poll in UK
HOPES are growing within Irish political and diplomatic circles that a cross-party revolt by Remain members of the Labour and Conservative parties could mean that the UK may hold a second referendum on leaving the European Union.
The belief has been intensified by a major YouGov poll which revealed that British voters would back remaining in the EU by
‘The Yes side is going on the front foot’
53% to 47% if a referendum were held now.
Significantly, 45% want a say on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, with 34% opposed. The YouGov survey of more than 10,000 adults shows more than half of voters want a say on any final decision.
Some 77% of Labour voters said they would back remaining in the EU, compared to 23% who want to leave. Most (63%) support a referendum on the exit deal, compared with 18% who said they do not.
As the Conservative party remains mired in controversy and Labour continues to take an uncertain path, Irish diplomats and politicians believe that the tide is turning.
The vice chair of the influential British Irish Parliamentary Assembly, Senator Frank Feighan said: ‘We are in a very complicated scenario. There has to be a debate between the two wings of Labour and the two wings of the Tory party before there can be a debate between the two parties.’ Mr Feighan said: ‘There are growing indications in both parties that the Yes side is going on the front foot. It is delicate and not for us to intervene, but serious figures like Michael Heseltine and Labour peers are challenging the Brexit wing in both parties. The pushback is on.’
Mr Feighan said: ‘Public opinion has turned. Brexit was never about Europe, it was about uniting the Tories and that hasn’t worked so the rationale behind it is gone.’
Fine Gael deputy Fergus O’Dowd, also a key figure in the group, said: ‘Theresa May is taking over a leadership role since she gave Boris the boot. The move is to a more moderate Brexit’.
Neale Richmond, Fine Gael spokesperson on Brexit, said: ‘The folly of Brexit is indicated by the ongoing massive internal battle within both of the main parties over the last two and a half years.’