Tag Archives: peoples vote

13 December 2018 – (not just) today’s press releases

You’d think that putting the day’s piece to bed after 11.30 p.m. should cover everything. But no, the Press Teams both in London and Cardiff had one last shot in the dying moments of yesterday, so I’m including them with today’s batch. Enjoy…

  • Theresa May Must Give the People the Final Say – Welsh Lib Dems
  • PM must now change course and offer people the final say
  • Soaring numbers of children trapped in temporary accommodation is shameful
  • Welsh Lib Dems Welcome Prostate Cancer MRI Scans
  • Govt must set out plans to avoid NHS winter crisis
  • Lib Dems demand MPs holidays are cancelled to vote on Brexit
  • Cable:

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The hunt for certainty

Theresa May has been telling MPs that they need to vote for her deal to give certainty.

That has always been hogwash because the Withdrawal Agreement kicks so much about our future relationship with the EU down the road as to be virtually meaningless. In fact, the very existence of the much maligned backstop is proof that it resolves very little and leaves us worse off.

But now, Theresa May’s quest to get her deal through the Commons is even more blighted. When she told Conservative MPs that she intended to step down ahead of the next election, she was probably thinking maybe sometime in 2021. The way some of her MPs, even those who supported her, are talking tonight, she’s got until March.

That adds even more uncertainty into the mix. We have no idea who will lead the negotiations shaping our future relations with the EU. Just imagine that Tory members elect Boris who thinks the chaos of no deal is just what this country needs? At least now we can revert to our membership of the EU but after March 29th we won’t have that safety net.

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Why a People’s Vote enhances democracy

Of course we should have a vote on the final Brexit deal. 

Because otherwise, we’re giving a free pass to the Brexit campaign of 2016 to say whatever they want, regardless of whether it’s achievable.

The Brexiteers could have promised 100% employment, free homes for everyone and class sizes of 10 if they wanted to. And then when the public voted for Brexit and none of this occurred, they could just say it’s too late. Brexit means Brexit. Anything else is frustrating the result of the referendum.

There comes a point when, if what was promised before the referendum is nothing like what has been achieved in reality, that mandate needs to be held to account. We need to know if the public support the actual Brexit which is staring them in the face – rather than the one which was pitched to them two years ago on completely different terms.

We clearly reached that point a long time ago. 

The Brexit campaign was based on a vision of Brexit which just hasn’t happened. £350 million to the NHS per week? A generous trade deal with the EU? An economically more prosperous country? None of that has happened. 

If the Leave Campaign had campaigned for May’s Brexit Deal, or for No Deal, they would clearly have lost under either circumstance. That’s why I don’t like it when people justify a People’s Vote by saying that the public have a right to change their mind. This isn’t about changing minds. This Brexit was never voted for in the first place. 

Our Prime Minister doesn’t support Brexit. Our Parliament doesn’t support Brexit. The only reason that we are pursuing this policy is because it is “what the people want”. When so much has changed since the vote in 2016, shouldn’t we at least check that this really is “what the people want”? What’s the harm – from a democratic point of view? If the public really do want this version of Brexit then they will vote for it. No one is overturning anything. The public will get their way.

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Tom Brake MP writes: About that “split” with People’s Vote…

To keep up to date with Brexit developments these days it is best to have social media on a drip-feed. News of resignations, plots, and leadership bids leak out there first.

It was no surprise, then, that social media was the first to pick up last week on an apparent split between the Lib Dems and the People’s Vote campaign. The ‘split’ was a small disagreement over the best way to maximise the prospects of securing a Final Say on the Deal through a People’s Vote.

But social media’s unsurpassed ability to pick up stories as they break is matched by an uncanny capacity to blow them out of all proportions just as quickly. Rarely has a greater storm been whipped up in a tinier tea-cup.

What caused this restlessness? Liberal Democrats tabled an amendment to the Prime Minister’s motion, in favour of a People’s Vote. Hardly a breach of the campaign objective!

There is total agreement between the Lib Dems and the People’s Vote on the need to maximise the chances of winning any vote on a People’s Vote amendment. But we can’t choose on Tuesday whether or not that is the moment to maximise support if the whole issue is left off the order paper. As things stand, we can choose whether to move it, based on changing circumstances.

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Updated: Why is the People’s Vote campaign sidelining Lib Dems?

It’s fair to say that some party members have been expressing concern on social media about a perceived detachment between the Liberal Democrats and the People’s Vote campaign.

Why is it that Caroline Lucas is representing the campaign on the Channel 4 debate tonight? Why was Vince missing from the petition event in Downing Street? It’s not a great way to treat the party who kicked off the campaign for a final say on the deal in the Summer of 2016.

Late last week, Liberal Democrat MPs were criticised by the campaign for putting down an amendment to Labour’s amendment calling for a People’s Vote.

The People’s Vote campaign is not backing the move because they want to wait until the deal is rejected because they think that they will have a better chance of securing a referendum then.

They may be right. But in a febrile and unpredictable environment, why wouldn’t you make sure that you have the option of putting it on the agenda?

Paul Waugh is wrong in this report when he says that:

Crucially, it adopts the prime minister’s proposal and just makes it conditional on a second referendum. Unlike other amendments, it does not reject May’s deal.

It doesn’t. It is an amendment to Labour’s amendment so if both were passed, the motion passed by the House would read:

This House declines to approve the negotiated withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship because itfails to provide for a permanent UK-EU customs union and strong single market deal and would therefore lead to increased barriers to trade in goods and services, would not protect workers’ rights and environmental standards, allows for the diminution of the United Kingdom’s internal and external security and is likely to lead to the implementation of a backstop provision in Northern Ireland that is neither politically nor economically sustainable; declines to approve the United Kingdom’s leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement; and therefore resolves to pursue every option, including a public vote as endorsed by the Labour Party Conference 2018, that prevents the United Kingdom’s either leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement or leaving on the basis of the negotiated withdrawal agreement laid before the House.

We don’t know yet if our amendment will be debated or even put to the vote but we have at least got a People’s Vote on the order paper so that the House has a chance to get it into the mix.  I think we need to trust our people to know what they are doing. They are the ones having the conversations in Parliament and they will know what is possible. 

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The Economist backs a People’s Vote

A Leader article in this week’s Economist argues for a referendum on Theresa May’s proposed deal:

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Party identifies 14 key MPs who could swing People’s Vote

House of Commons 2010

Christine Jardine has written to party supporters asking them to email 14 key Tory MPs who the party reckons could swing a vote for a People’s Vote in the House of Commons next week. The 14 MPs voted both remain and leave in the 2016 EU referendum and are:

Leave:

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7 December 2018 – today’s press releases

I’ve spent my evening helping Colchester Liberal Democrats to select their new PPC, which is why this is a bit late in the day. I’m hoping that we’ll have their press release tomorrow, which is why I’m not telling you who won… So, without further ado, here are today’s press releases…

  • Davey: Brexit gambling UK’s safety and security
  • Liberal Democrats lead the march to a people’s vote
  • Labour must guarantee a people’s vote
  • The Economist backs a people’s vote
  • Brexit would put the brakes on Britain, F1 bosses warn

Davey: Brexit gambling UK’s safety and security

Responding to the Home Affairs Select Committee Report on the Home …

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Peoples’ Vote – are we ready?

If there is a Peoples Vote it is not clear that Remain would win. For Remain to be guaranteed to win we would be much higher than 10% in the polls.

Our leaders need to understand what is driving people to support Brexit, and have some answers.

Campaigning in this Brexit Capital of the Midlands (Newcastle under Lyme), the reasons people want Brexit are obvious. Some of the reasons have an element of truth; others are totally false, fuelled by the Brexit Campaign and the tabloid press.

Some of the arguments they put forward that we must provide answers to …

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Why Delia could be the People’s Vote campaign’s most potent advocate

Three weeks on Tuesday, I’ll be preparing my family’s Christmas dinner, as I have done for the last three decades, by following the instructions in my battered and splattered copy of Delia Smith’s Christmas. You know, I bought the updated version a few years back, but it’s the old one I always reach for.

In a dark cupboard, as I write, it’s Delia’s Christmas cake that’s slowly maturing, helped along with the occasional injection of brandy, waiting for me to ice it on Christmas Eve.

We’ve started every New Year for decades with her Filet de Boeuf en Croute. In fact there was one year we didn’t and that was a bloody awful one. We won’t be doing that again.

You get my drift. Generations of cooks have grown up to instinctively trust Delia. Her recipes work and they’ve become engrained in many a family’s rituals.

So when she appears on the political programmes telling us that Brexit is a recipe for chaos and we should have a People’s Vote and choose to stay in, with the same passion as she’s enthused us into buying every cranberry or lime in the country in years gone by, we’re going to listen to her.

Here she was on the Andrew Marr Show this morning:

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Are you stressed out by Brexit?

A social media post by a friend of mine, citing Brexit-induced stress for lack of sleep made me realise this week that I feel the same way. Even if I don’t reach for my phone to check the headlines if I wake up in the middle of the night, the impending disaster facing the country is never far from my mind.

Then this morning an email arrives in our inbox telling us about Headspace’s new meditation packs for stressed out British people with one targeted at the almost three quarters of us who cite Brexit as something that is worrying them.

I’m not sure that a few moments’ meditation will help with the worry about what happens to our already crumbling public services if, as every forecast suggests, we will be worse off and we don’t have the people here to work in them.

I guess those of us who want to stay in the EU should be stressed. While the chance to get out of this mess has never been bigger, there’s a pretty tortuous process ahead over the next few weeks to get there. It’s a bit like the three dimensional chess they played on Star Trek: The Next Generation. When is the best time to play the People’s Vote card? In the Times on Friday, Matthew Parris said that Tory MPs should wait until after the deal has been defeated to come out for another vote and definitely shouldn’t do it now:

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28 November 2018 – today’s press releases (part 2)

  • Davey: Brexit deal leaves police in the dark (see tomorrow morning)
  • Lib Dem victory on tackling ‘Sex for Rent’
  • Lib Dems accuse Govt of contempt over Brexit legal advice row
  • Labour must give “unequivocal guarantee” they will back a People’s Vote
  • Bank of England confirm any Brexit will hurt the economy

Lib Dem victory on tackling ‘Sex for Rent’

After pressure from Liberal Democrat MP, Wera Hobhouse, the Crown Prosecution Service have today confirmed they will be conducting a review to update their guidelines on ‘sex for rent’.

After speaking in the Westminster Hall Debate on the issue, Wera Hobhouse said:

It is great to see progress is

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23 November 2018 – today’s press releases

Today’s releases are brought to you from ALDC’s Kickstart event, taking place this weekend in the heart of Staffordshire. There are three hundred Liberal Democrat campaigners and activists here, learning the skills required to run effective, and hopefully, successful campaigns in the months and years ahead.

  • Tories must take back control of smart meters
  • Women must have equal heart attack care to men
  • Davey to PM: Come clean on European Convention on Human Rights
  • PM must back People’s Vote on Brexit
  • Government must not be complacent on Hedges case

Tories must take back control of smart meters

Responding to the NAO Report on rolling out smart meters, …

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20 November 2018 – today’s press releases

Another busy day, but I’m pleased to note that a bit more use is being made of our Spokespeople in the Lords. After all, there are rather more of them than in the Commons, and they’re a valuable asset when it comes to holding the Government to account…

  • Cable: Bank of England must conduct honest assessment of Brexit deal
  • Cable: Govt must block Interpol election of Alexander Prokopchuk
  • Tories to blame for missed NHS targets
  • Cable: Our priority is building the momentum for a People’s Vote
  • Vulnerable people put in homes not fit for human habitation
  • The licence fee is not the Government’s to spend

Cable:

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Lib Link: Willie Rennie Brexit’s promises have fallen through so a People’s Vote must be held

In the Scotsman, Willie Rennie sets out the case for a People’s Vote in the wake of a woefully inadequate Brexit Deal that satisfies nobody.

Do we sit by as Rees-Mogg’s band of Brexit followers try to force us out of Europe with no deal? No. This is the time to rally for a People’s Vote. When Parliament is so divided it’s time to return it to the people. Growing numbers of people support the move to a People’s Vote. People are signing up every day. This deal satisfies no one, regardless of whether they voted leave or remain. Brexit will

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Rally tonight, Parliament Square, to demand a Final Say

An email has just gone around announcing a rally tonight in London from 6 pm to demand a Final Say on the proposed Brexit deal. More info here.

There have also been a flurry of press briefings and reactions to May’s proposals going out, here are some highlights.

Brexit chaos hitting UK businesses hard

Responding to reports that UK- focused firms have been hit hard by the PM’s proposed Brexit deal, with RBS, Lloyds, Barclays, Marks and Spencer, Barratt, Berkeley and EasyJet all seeing falls in their share prices, Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:

Ministerial resignations and Brexit chaos are hitting UK-based businesses hard. But the short-term damage caused by a rudderless Government will be nothing compared to the permanent harm the PM’s bad deal or catastrophic No Deal would inflict on UK Plc. That is why we need a People’s Vote to get us out of this mess and secure an exit from Brexit.

PM’s incompetence leaves UK unprepared for all options

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable has today criticised Theresa May for failing to prepare for no Brexit, despite admitting it was an option.

Speaking in response to the Prime Minister’s Brexit statement in the House of Commons today, Vince Cable said:

The Prime Minister rightly asserts that there are two alternatives to her plan, no deal and no Brexit. The Government is investing considerably in contingency planning for no deal. What contingency planning is she doing for no Brexit? Including, for example, advising the Commission that Article 50 may have to be withdrawn? And is she herself preparing for the fact, however much she hates it, that the House may instruct her to carry out a People’s Vote?

In response, the Prime Minister confirmed the Conservative Government was making no plans for no Brexit.

Following the exchange, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said: 

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Brexiteers jump the shark again with high treason jibe

I was quite surprised by the newspapers on Friday. After Vince Cable along with representatives from Plaid Cymru, the SNP and Greens met Michel Barnier, I wouldn’t have been surprised if we’d had more “enemies of the people” nonsense from the more excitable right wing tabloids.

They were quiet, but this weekend, Leave EU jumped that particular shark, accusing Vince Cable of High Treason. Layla Moran retorted on Twitter that this was a badge of honour.

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Three things we can all do to help secure a People’s Vote

We can win this thing one conversation at a time, but that means every one of us has to pull a shift.

I suggest 3 simple things that everyone in here can do right now.

1. Write to your MP and tell them you want a Peoples Vote. It doesn’t matter who they are or what party or what they’ve said on this. Write to them as a voter. A short, polite email is fine.

2. Now go to the People’s Vote website and sign the petition. Also check out the briefings and other material there.

3. Think of 5 people in your …

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95% done is not enough if you’re missing the stuff that keeps you alive

The party has put up this uplifting video of Saturday’s march. For those of us who were there it’s great to remember that time when you were in the same place as 700,000 like-minded people. For those who weren’t, and who either have always felt nervous or are starting to feel nervous about Brexit, it’s encouraging to see so many people out there winning the argument.

Since the march, we’ve seen Dominic Raab go on Marr and effectively say that the extremist wing of his party are more important than peace in Northern Ireland. I mean, how on earth can any minister abdicate his responsibility to the country quite so brazenly?

Then yesterday, Theresa May said we were 95% there as far as a deal was concerned. Well, your brain is only 3% or so of your bodyweight, your heart is less than half a percent and your eyes don’t weigh very much at all – but if you are missing all three, you’re pretty stuffed. What we do know about this deal so far is that it sells out our service based economy, it will kick a lot of stuff into the long grass, so we are effectively flying blind, and there is no agreement on the Northern Irish border which is pretty fundamental to the future of the UK.

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21 October 2018 – today’s press releases…

It’s a Sunday, and if you think that the Press Team go quiet, you’d be wrong. There’s always someone on duty…

Starmer must make People’s Vote Labour’s Brexit priority – Brake

On his programme this morning, Andrew Marr challenged Keir Starmer over the number of “hurdles” the Shadow Brexit Secretary was putting in the way of Labour fully backing a People’s Vote.

Responding, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said:

The People’s Vote march was genuinely cross-party and one of the striking features was the number of Labour voters who attended. This backs up authoritative academic research showing that around four

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The roadmap to a People’s Vote

Today the People’s Vote campaign set out how we get to a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal.

In a report, they set out that Article 50 is revocable, that Parliament has several ways of securing a People’s Vote and discuss what would be on the ballot paper.

It’s really important that people understand that we can get out of this mess so it’s good that they have set out how exactly it could be done.

They set out options for a straight deal vs no deal or deal vs remain or no deal vs remain or all of the above in different stages.

So tell everyone you know how easily this can be sorted out. Don’t let people resign themselves to the inevitability of a rubbish Brexit.

As John Kerr, the author of Article 50, says:

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Why it’s important to join the Lib Dems on the People’s Vote march on October 20th

Sometimes it’s hard to keep positive. As the evidence stacks up that Brexit is going to at the very least harm us and at worst mean food and drug shortages and ground flights, the Government continues to reject the democratic option of getting the people to mark its homework.

Accountability is vital in any democracy. This Government should be facing every day with more than a mild degree of trepidation. However, Jeremy Corbyn has not given them much in the way of bother at all.

There is a chance that a parliamentary alliance of moderate Labour and Tory MPs, us, Caroline Lucas and others could force through a People’s Vote. The problem with that theory is that the Tories have historically caved when the chips are down. Labour MPs fearing desolation may not dare defy Corbyn even if their local members want to. The SNP is holding the country to ransom. They will only back a People’s Vote if they get an independence referendum if Brexit wins.

Christine Jardine and Alex Cole-Hamilton took them to task on Twitter:

Willie Rennie pointed out that Sturgeon is going against the wishes of her membership.

A YouGov poll shows that 89% of SNP members support a People’s Vote and 79% think that the SNP should support it in Parliament.

Willie said:

Nicola Sturgeon and her ministers have exhausted their excuse selection. Now that it’s clear the vast majority of SNP members want to have the final say on Brexit they can’t justify sitting on the fence any longer.

Brexit poses a huge threat to people’s livelihoods, security and public services.

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Some Brexiteers do not play the democratic game

Democracy, in a civilised society, has its rules. One of them is, if not the respect, at least the polite tolerance of others. Humility and caution are two additional requisites, I would suggest, for whoever wishes to express political opinions.

A number of Brexiters, learning of a growing desire among many to see another people’s vote take place are, like bad sports players, now sliding into disrespectful and even injurious behaviours. The Spectator for example, published a few days ago an article entitled ‘The People vs Brexit‘. Its author, Mr Rod Liddle, writing:

The People’s Vote monkeys now buttress their demands for

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WATCH: Jane Dodds speak to Welsh People’s Vote Rally

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds spoke to the Welsh People’s Vote rally yesterday.

A poll this week suggested that Wales, which had voted to leave in 2016 had now changed its mind and also backed a People’s Vote on the deal. This is pretty astonishing given that even 6 months ago, there was a substantial majority of people opposed to a vote.

Watch what Jane had to say here.

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Why a second referendum is now not only right but necessary

These last months’ debate on Brexit have established one fact: a portion of the people who have voted leave have done it for the wrong reasons. This is a fact, not an interpretation or an opinion, and it is on facts that decisions must be taken.

Many people of that portion realise that they did not understand Brexit or were simply misled. Many of these, we now know, would vote remain. In fact polls, such as YouGov’s across a significant 10.000 people, show that currently Britain would vote remain 53 to 47, as expressed directly in these terms : …

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WATCH: Vince: Theresa May is rattled by People’s Vote movement

It’s a gorgeous day in Cambridge today, which is a good thing given that there is a local council by-election a week on Thursday.

Candidate Sarah Brown had Vince Cable along with her this afternoon:

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WATCH: Vince Cable at the #PeoplesVote Bristol rally – We can win this

Vince went to Bristol yesterday to speak to the People’s Vote rally. His message was one of confidence and optimism – that the tide was turning in our favour and we could win a People’s vote.

Watch highlights here:

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Study says that a majority of UK constituencies now back staying in the EU

The Observer today suggests that as many as 112 seats may have changed from Leave to Remain.

In findings that could have a significant impact on the parliamentary battle of Brexit later this year, the study concludes that most seats in Britain now contain a majority of voters who want to stay in the EU.

The analysis, one of the most comprehensive assessments of Brexit sentiment since the referendum, suggests the shift has been driven by doubts among Labour voters who backed Leave.

As a result, the trend is starkest in the north of England and Wales – Labour heartlands in which Brexit sentiment appears to be changing. The development will heap further pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to soften the party’s opposition to reconsidering Britain’s EU departure.

What will Corbyn, a lifelong opponent of the EU, do now? Will he bow to the evidence that Labour voters are flocking to stay in the EU or will he hold firm in his opposition even to the customs union and single market.

And what will those in the Labour Party do if he refuses to budge his position? Especially those in Labour seats who are now backing Remain?

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Christine Jardine challenges SNP to back People’s Vote

As everybody from Gary Lineker to the Independent is now backing the People’s Vote campaign for  a referendum on the final Brexit deal – which started out as a Lib Dem idea in the Summer two years ago – there is one notable exception.

The SNP is the third largest party in Parliament. It could make the difference. Yet it continues to sit on its hands on this most important question.

Nicola Sturgeon could have used her meeting with Theresa May to say that the SNP will block the deal and push for a People’s Vote, but she didn’t. It was all …

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Brexit options and the People’s Vote

Justine Greening’s recent call for a multi-option referendum on Brexit brings to the fore the central dishonesty of the Referendum. Brexit cannot just mean Brexit: if it is to happen it will have to be a specific Brexit. And it is becoming increasingly clear that there is no feasible specific Brexit that can command the support of all those who voted for Brexit in general in the referendum.

Following Greening’s call, Yougov carried out an opinion poll asking about preferences between three options, which we can call Remain, Soft and Hard. The Soft option was described as `along the lines that Theresa May has set out’ (i.e. the Chequers proposal), while the Hard option was described as `leave the EU without a deal’.

What was unusual about this poll was that it asked for voters’ second preferences as well as their first. This is essential if we are to understand the real popularity of the options, and what the poll reveals is very interesting.

First preferences show an exact 50-50 balance between Remain and Brexit in this poll. However, when we compare Remain with either specific form of Brexit it has a clear majority: 55-45 against Hard Brexit, 60-40 against Soft. While Soft is narrowly preferred to Hard (53-47), a large proportion of Hard supporters (nearly half of them) would abstain rather than choose between Remain and Soft.

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