outside the EU; another referendum; and leaving with no-deal. This might at least indicate MPS’ most favoured option.
Supporters of a People’s Vote might take heart from the more than 30 Labour MPS and nine Tories who publicly back the idea, alongside Liberal Democrats, SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green party support, and the fact that many more do so privately and may opt for this outcome as other options are eliminated. But they also should note that parliament cannot compel the government to support this, which will require legislation and therefore a majority to pass the necessary stages in both houses. Realistically, Labour front bench support would also be needed for Labour MPS to back a vote through all those stages.
The latest Yougov polling, which unlike in 2016 can be weighted against the recent previous vote, are encouraging for pro-europeans. Remain vs. May’s Deal breaks 62:38% in Remain’s favour; Remain beats no-deal 57:43%; while a more complex three-way question produces Remain: 54%; no-deal: 28%; May’s deal: 18%. But placing no-deal on a ballot paper risks creating a mandate no conceivable government at Westminster would want.
Will 16- and 17-year-olds, allowed to vote in the Scottish referendum, get a say on their future? Should the three million Brits resident overseas for more than 15 years, and denied a vote in 2016, be enfranchised? Might we repeat 2016 with Irish and qualifying Commonwealth citizens voting, but not the more than two million free-movement workers who pay taxes – £2,300 more annually than the average Brit – and vote in local elections? Remainers need to think carefully about how another referendum – the third on Europe and the 13th in our history – might work, but absent approval of the Withdrawal Agreement, the clock must be stopped.