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Analysis

‘Re-leavers’ start to believe Brexit can be stopped

by Luke Lythgoe | 26.10.2017

So-called “Re-leavers”, Remain voters who resigned themselves to quitting the EU, are deciding they want to stop Brexit after all. YouGov analysis shows that the proportion of Remain voters willing to “go ahead” with Brexit fell from 51% in June to just 28% in September.

Strong arguments can help strengthen this trend and convince other Re-leavers to shift their position. There’s even scope for persuading softer Leave voters to abandon Brexit. Both Re-leavers and soft Leavers will need to be brought on side to stop Brexit.

There are four key arguments.

First, it’s not too late to stop Brexit. We haven’t left the EU yet and May’s government is increasingly weak and wobbly. What’s more, the EU almost certainly wouldn’t stop us changing our mind. As EU Council president Donald Tusk said this week: “It is in fact up to London how this will end, with a good deal, no deal or no Brexit.”

Second, it’s not undemocratic to try and stop Brexit. As David Davis himself said back in 2012: “If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy.” The Brextremists and pro-Brexit press have relentlessly insisted otherwise, with headlines about “saboteurs” and “enemies of the people” smearing anyone who dares speak out against the madness. They are increasingly shrill. Yesterday Tory Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg denounced the governor of the Bank of England as “an enemy of Brexit” while the Daily Mail’s front-page splash today condemned “our Remainer universities” for allegedly doling out anti-Brexit propaganda. Pro-Europeans need to see this for what it is: a vicious campaign to stop free speech.

Third, the government is making a total hash of the Brexit talks. Ivan Rogers, our former EU ambassador, told MPs yesterday that he’d warned we’d get “screwed” if we triggered Article 50 but the government went ahead anyway. Now, of course, we are getting screwed.

Fourth, the negative consequences of Brexit are already biting. Brexiters scream “Project Fear” to silence pro-Europeans. But the evidence is mounting. In the last 24 hours alone, we’ve had data on falling car production, a 0.4% squeeze in real wages and the biggest year-on-year fall in retail sales since the financial crisis. Project Fear is sadly becoming Project Reality.

Public opinion is starting to change. Brexit can still be stopped with convincing fact-based arguments.

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Edited by Hugo Dixon

4 Responses to “‘Re-leavers’ start to believe Brexit can be stopped”

  • Now we are nearing the time we all remember the Glorious Dead it should be recalled that the EU has given the UK and Europe decades of peace, steady growth, stability and prosperity. For 72 years since the end of the Second World War and the beginning of the EU/EEC we have not seen any major European wars. I understand there is no comparable 72 years of European peace in the last 1000 years. The two 20th century European / World Wars bankrupted Britain and decimated our youth. I would advocate that if an institution like the EU had been in place at the beginning of the Edwardian era there would have been no world wars in the 20th Century and the UK and the rest of Europe would not only be far more prosperous and affluent than it is now but tens of millions of innocent victims would not have perished. That, for me, is the undisputable true value of the EU and the best protection for my children and grandchildren’s future. All other arguments and positions I hear every single day dissolve into insignificance. Britain’s future is at the centre of the EU for all our future generations’ sake.

  • Why on earth would you want to continue to be governed bY an unelected group of idiots in Europe when we have voted to do our own thing. If you are scared of being in control of your own destiny it shows how brain washed and needy you have become. Get a backbone

  • The arguments for Brexit have been all about leaving the EU. No one is discussing the detail of how our trade will be organised after Brexit. It is as if every other country in the world was entirely independent, and had no other trading partners and no trade deals. The fact is that most have trade deals with other countries that may exclude third parties . In fact most countries are in trading communities that look very like the EU. There aren’t that many countries which are free to trade with us in every sector of the economy. The deafening silence about the real world is frightening. If we do not discuss it, how do we develop a strategy to deal with it? At the moment we are sending trade delegations to random countries abroad, and they are telling us politely to go away. (India, South Africa, Australia etc) If we had a strategy, we would only send delegations to countries that will welcome us. (Delegations are expensive, and take time to organise – a delegation that fails to attract trade is an expensive waste of scarce resources) Economists working for other trading communities now regard Britain as ” a small isolated country from whom concessions may be won”.