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Britain would vote to remain in the European Union if the country went back to the polls for a second referendum, a survey published today shows.
The ComRes survey for the Daily Mirror found 55% of people now back Remain, against 45% for Leave.
The result comes as Nigel Farage urged Leave voters to prepare themselves for a second Brexit referendum, saying that Parliament may force another vote on the matter.
He told Radio 4’s Today Programme: ‘I’ve accepted the possibility that it could happen. Of course I don’t want one. We won the referendum and that should’ve been that.
‘But I do not trust the sheer dishonesty of our political class.
‘Having met Monsieur barrier on Monday I’m convinced that a decent deal will not be offered to the country, that the House of Commons and Lords will reject it, and the idea that in that circumstance we’ll just crash out on WTO rules – I don’t believe our political class will accept it.
‘So I’m out of denial. I was in denial. I was saying ‘we’ve won, it’s all over’.
‘I have now got myself mentally ready for the possibility… that they’ll make us vote again and we must be prepared.’
Writing in the Telegraph, Mr Farage said that the pro-Brexit faction must ‘ready ourselves for the possibility of one last dramatic battle’.
‘It may not be what we want, but it could be unavoidable. In the next few months, committed leavers must prepare for a second poll and get ready to start campaigning.’ he said.
The former UKIP leader ruffled feathers yesterday after saying that the UK should ‘maybe’ hold a second Brexit referendum in a bid to silence the ‘whingeing’ voices of Remainers.
The staunch Brexiteer made the claim on Channel 5 talk show The Wright Stuff.
‘What is for certain is that the Cleggs, the Blairs, the Adonises will never, ever, ever give up’, he said.
‘They will go on whinging and whining and moaning all the way through this process.
EXCLUSIVE – Nigel Farage says "just maybe I’m reaching the point of thinking that we should have a second referendum on EU membership".@Nigel_Farage | @Matthew_Wright | #wrightstuff pic.twitter.com/T0fROToskr
— The Wright Stuff (@5WrightStuff) January 11, 2018
‘So maybe, just maybe, I’m reaching the point of thinking that we should have a second referendum on EU membership… unless you want to have a multiple-choice referendum which would confuse people.
‘I think that if we had a second referendum on EU membership we would kill it off for a generation.
‘The percentage that would vote to leave next time would be very much bigger than it was last time round.
‘And we may just finish the whole thing off. And Blair can disappear off into total obscurity.’
He later echoed his comments on Twitter, repeating that a second vote would ‘kill off’ the issue of EU membership.
Maybe, just maybe, we should have a second referendum on EU membership. It would kill off the issue for a generation once and for all. https://t.co/FQxniMi5MA
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) January 11, 2018
Millionaire Brexit backer Aaron Banks, who bankrolled the Leave campaign, later said that a second referendum is now ‘the only option’.
The co-founder of Leave.EU said: ‘If we do not act radically now, we will sleepwalk into a faux Brexit, in name only.
True Brexiteers have been backed into a corner and the only option now is to go back to the polls and let the people shout from the rooftops their support of a true Brexit. Leave would win by a landslide.’
Farage’s comments were also backed by prominent remainer Nick Clegg, who wrote ‘I agree with Nigel’ on Twitter – referencing the catchphrase that he inadvertently popularised during the 2010 Election Debates.
At present, bookmakers Ladbrokes are offering odds of 5/1 on a second referendum.
Downing Street has since responded, and confirmed that there will not be a second referendum on EU membership.
‘As I have said before, we will not be having a second referendum’, a spokesperson for Theresa May said.
Theresa May has insisted a second referendum would be a betrayal of voters and would also lead to a bad deal in exit talks.
But former PM Mr Blair, the Liberal Democrats and other leading Remain campaigners argue voters should be given a say once Brexit negotiations are finalised.
Ex-Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has been outspoken in his opposition to Brexit. On 25 January he is set to give a lecture at University College London titled: ‘How to stop Brexit’ and he has published a book called: ‘How to Stop Brexit (and make Britain great again)’.
Since the referendum vote, Mr Clegg has argued that the British public is free to overturn the result of the vote – and insists that they should do so.
In October he said on Radio 4’s Today Programme: ‘Not only do I think this government clearly doesn’t know what long-term relationship it wants to establish between the EU and the UK, much more importantly than that, I see no prospect at all that any of the numerous commitments made to the British people are actually going to come about.
‘On that basis, I think it’s perfectly right that people should say: “Well, hang on a minute, we’re not getting what you told us we’re going to get, and on that basis we want to think again.”‘