Business Insider Edition

The British public now backs a second Brexit referendum

Thomas Colson , Business Insider US
 Jul 27, 2018, 05:52 PM


(Getty Images)

  • The British public supports a second Brexit referendum for the first time, according to a new poll.
  • 42% of voters support a second referendum on whether to accept any Brexit deal Theresa May strikes with the European Union.
  • 40% oppose the idea, while 18% don't know, according to the YouGov / Times poll.
  • Support for a second referendum has been gradually rising.
  • However, support for remaining in the EU does not appear to have increased significantly in the past two years, and Leave could still win.


British voters now back a second Brexit referendum, according to a new poll.

Support for a second referendum on the UK's EU membership has risen gradually as the chances of a no-deal Brexit rise and as Brussels rejects large parts of Theresa May's Brexit proposals outlined in the Chequers agreement.

Voters were asked by YouGov for a Times poll this week whether there should be a second referendum on the final terms of any Brexit deal.

It found that 42% of the public supports a referendum on whether to accept or reject the final Brexit deal that May brings back from Brussels. Forty per cent opposed the plan, while 18% didn't know.

That is the first time that the proportion of voters who favour a second Brexit referendum has overtaken those who are opposed. On June 19 and 20, just 37% of the public supported the idea while 45% were opposed.

Most of the new support comes from voters who supported Remain in the first referendum. Just 19% of those who voted Leave supported a second vote, while 66% of those who voted Remain supported one.

Last week, the former education secretary, Justine Greening, became the first senior Conservative MP to back another Brexit referendum, or what campaigners describe as a "People's Vote."

However, support for remaining in the EU does not appear to have increased significantly in the past two years.

Of those polled, 45% said they would remain, while 42% would vote to leave, with 4% saying they would not vote and 9% saying they didn't know. 

While those figures would imply a Remain win, most opinion polls in the run-up to the 2016 referendum also indicated Britain would stay in the EU, with a final swing to Leave taking place at the ballot box.

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