Majority of voters believe Brexit referendum 'should never have been called'

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EU and Union flags flutter in the breeze outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, central London on October 17, 2019. - Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the European Union on Thursday reached a provisional agreement that might just see Britain leave the European Union by the October 31 deadline. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Three years since the referendum the UK remains divided on membership of the EU. (Getty)

The majority of the electorate believe the 2016 Brexit referendum should never have been called - according to a new poll.

The survey carried out by polling agency Opinium poll on behalf of The Observer suggested as many as 57 per cent of those eligible to vote thought it would have been better not to have the vote.

Only 29 per cent of those polled believe it was right to hold the referendum.

Of those who said they voted to Remain, 87 per cent said the vote should never have taken place, with only 7 per cent saying it needed to happen.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 18: A 'Vote LEAVE' battle bus is parked outside the Houses of Parliament in Westminster by the environmental campaign group Greenpeace before being re-branded on July 18, 2016 in London, England. The bus which was used during the European Union (EU) referendum campaign and had the statement "We send the EU £350 million a week let's fund our NHS instead" along the side was today covered with thousands of questions for the new Prime Minister Theresa May and her government about what a 'Brexit' might mean for the environment. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
The majority of those polled believed the vote should never have taken place. (Getty)

On the Leave side a total of 57 per cent said the referendum was needed, comapared to 32 per cent who believe the opposite.

“The Conservatives have hit the symbolically important 40% mark for the first time since before missing the original Brexit deadline back in March,” Adam Drummond, head of political polling at Opinium, told the newspaper.


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“And the reaction to Boris Johnson’s deal appears to be that the public are divided on whether it will be good for them and the economy.

“To the extent that there is a way out of the impasse, a general election is the most popular individual outcome.

“But if Johnson’s deal were put up against the option of remaining in the EU in a binary referendum, the country remains just as evenly split as it was last time we asked.”

It comes as a Liberal Democrat and SNP bid to give Boris Johnson his pre-Christmas election has been branded a “stunt” and a “gimmick” by senior Tories.

But Number 10 hinted it could back the opposition parties’ proposal for a Bill, requiring only a simple Commons majority, that proposes an election on December 9 should Labour decline to back the Prime Minister’s push for a general election on Monday.

A No 10 source said, if the Government’s request for an election was lost, “we will look at all options to get Brexit done including ideas similar to that proposed by other opposition parties”.

A Downing Street insider said there was now a “gleam of light” in the struggle to break the Parliament logjam.

The Monday motion put down by the PM would need two-thirds of parliamentarians — 434 out of 650 — to back the move, while the Lib Dem-SNP proposal of a tightly-drafted Bill on Tuesday would need only a simple majority.

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