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Politics The British public supports a referendum to have a 'final say' on the Brexit deal

A second referendum would have to take place before March next year, when the UK is scheduled to leave the EU.

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FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir play

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

(Thomson Reuters)

  • A new poll finds the British public support a referendum on the "final say" on May's Brexit deal by a margin of 44% to 36%.
  • A second referendum would have to take place before the UK is scheduled to depart the EU in March next year.
  • Theresa May has repeatedly ruled out the prospect of a second vote.
  • However, a slightly differently worded question, which asked whether there should be a "public vote," put the "should not" camp in the lead by several points.


LONDON — The British public supports a vote on the terms of the final Brexit deal for the first time, according to a new opinion poll.

The poll, conducted by YouGov for pro-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain, found that 44% of Brits want to vote on the deal Theresa May brings back from Brussels at the end of Brexit negotiations, while 36% do not.

It is the first poll to indicate public support for a referendum on the final deal. A separate question found that more people would support remaining in the European Union than leaving, with 44% in favour and 41% against.

Here are the key findings:

  • 44% of people want a "final say" on the Brexit deal that Prime Minister May is currently negotiating, compared to 36% who don't
  • 19% told YouGov they were not sure
  • Nearly a quarter of Leave voters (23%) want a final vote on the terms, as do two thirds (66%) of Labour voters

While the poll indicates clear support for a "final say" on the Brexit deal, public opinion is more ambiguous. A slightly differently worded question in the same poll asked whether there should be a "public vote" on the terms of the Brexit deal, and put "should not" ahead of "should" by six points (45% to 39%).

Eloise Todd, chief executive of Best for Britain, said: "There is a decisive majority in favour of a final say for the people of our country on the terms of Brexit. This poll is a turning point moment.

"The only democratic way to finish this process is to make sure the people of this country — not MPs across Europe — have the final say, giving them an informed choice on the two options available to them: the deal the government brings back and our current terms.

"We now need MPs across Parliament, from Corbyn’s front bench to the moderates of the Conservative party to do what’s best for Britain and back a people’s vote on the terms."

The UK is scheduled to leave the EU in March next year with formal negotiations set to conclude by October. A new referendum would, therefore, have to take place within the five-month window between the two dates.

May has repeatedly ruled out the prospect of a second referendum. She told a conference in Germany last year that there was "no question of a second referendum or going back on that vote."

"People in the UK feel very strongly that if we take a decision, then governments should turn not round and say no you got that wrong."