A new poll, commissioned by the Open Britain campaign, shows that if Parliament decides that the final deal the Government negotiates with the EU is not good enough, a majority of British people want the Government to continue to negotiate with the EU and seek a deal that Parliament can accept. 51% of people said they would want to negotiations to continue, while only 34% said they would want the UK to leave without a deal.
This exclusive poll shows the British people do not support the Government’s current approach, which is to give Parliament a vote on the final deal but for the UK to leave with no deal if it is rejected. Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem voters would all would prefer the UK to continue negotiations if Parliament rejects the deal. This belief is shared by a majority of men and women; voters in every age group apart from over 65s; in every region in the country; and in every social group.
The poll comes as parliamentarians in both the Commons and Lords are considering amendments to the Article 50 legislation. There are a number of amendments which seek to give Parliament the final say and which would compel the Government to seek to continue negotiations if Parliament were to vote against.
The Open Britain calls on all MPs and Peers to support amendments which ensure Parliament is given sufficient time to consider the deal and ensure there is an option for negotiations to continue if Parliament rejects the Government’s deal. This would rule out there being a damaging ‘cliff edge’, where the UK crashes out of the EU on to World Trade Organisation rules with no deal in place.
Pat McFadden MP, leading supporter of the Open Britain campaign, said:
“Leave campaigners were quick to praise the principle of parliamentary sovereignty but have been much less keen to see it exercised in practice.
“The Government had to be dragged kicking and screaming by the courts to bring forward the Article 50 legislation and they have sought to keep Parliament at arm’s length at every turn.
“The Article 50 Bill will be approved but attention will then turn to the nature of the future agreement between the UK and the EU.
“A vote on this deal should not be the Government putting a gun to Parliament’s head – it should be a meaningful choice which allows Parliament to send the Government back to the negotiating table if the deal they negotiate is not good enough.”
Peter Kellner, the former President of YouGov, added:
“Now that Parliament is involved in the Brexit process, there is broad public support for its eventual vote on any deal to have real force.
“The Government could face a public backlash if such a deal is presented to MPs on the basis of take-it-or-leave-it.”
Notes to editors
The current relevant amendments to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill are: NC1; NC19; NC54; NC99; NC110; NC137. The full details can be found here:
The poll is an online poll conducted by YouGov for Open Britain, which surveyed 1,684 adults in Britain between January 29th and 30th 2017.