A majority of voters believe the final say on Britain’s impending exit from the EU should be determined by the public, according to the biggest Brexit poll held since the 2016 referendum.

The YouGov survey of 25,000 citizens showed 53 per cent favour a second referendum while 47 per cent do not, once those answering “don’t know” have been discounted.

The survey, commissioned by the People’s Vote, indicated the British public would back remaining in the EU by 54 per cent to 46 per cent if there was a re-run of the 2016 question.

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More than 1.1 million people have signed a petition backing The Independent’s Final Say campaign. 

The new poll also offers fresh evidence Labour could be punished by voters if Jeremy Corbyn’s party either backs or does not oppose Theresa May’s Brexit deal in the Commons.

It indicates Labour’s share of the vote would slump another eight points – from 34 per cent to 26 per cent – if its MPs join with the Tories to support the prime minister’s Brexit deal.

This would be even worse than the 28 per cent share secured by Labour under Michael Foot, when the party slumped to defeat against Margaret Thatcher’s Tories in 1983.

The 26 per cent vote share would remain the same if Labour MPs were not ordered to oppose a deal – possibly by being given a free vote or being told to abstain.

Labour MPs are expected to vote against the prime minister’s withdrawal agreement when it returns to the Commons later this month, but Mr Corbyn has said he could support a Brexit deal which guarantees a customs union and support for workers’ rights.

The role played by Labour over the coming weeks could be crucial, with Ms May hoping some opposition MPs could still be tempted to back her agreement to avoid the risk of a no-deal exit.

The latest survey suggests less than a quarter of voters – just 22 per cent – back the prime minister’s plan, despite a concerted effort by Downing Street to sell the deal directly to the public in the face of opposition from MPs. Support for the current deal rises to only 28 per cent among Leave voters.

Writing in The Mail on Sunday, the prime minister called Labour’s Brexit policy “a cynical tissue of incoherence, designed to avoid difficult decisions”.

Ms May claimed Mr Corbyn “did not even bother to read the deal before he came out against it”.

She also warned opponents in her own party that they “must realise the risks they are running with our democracy”.

Ms May at the European Council in October (AFP/Getty)

The YouGov poll shows reveals that if the choice was to remain in the EU or leave under the terms of Ms May’s deal negotiated by the government, the result would be 63 per cent to 37 per cent in favour of staying tied to Brussels.

If the choice was EU membership or a no-deal Brexit, the poll indicated a 58 per cent to 42 per cent win for Remain.

Labour MP David Lammy, a prominent supporter of campaign for a second referendum, said: “On the biggest issue of our generation, Labour risks complicity in the Conservative Party’s historic mistake. Although we are in opposition, due to the government’s weakness we have the opportunity to save our country from catastrophe and so we should seize it with both hands.

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“If we do not, this poll shows it is Labour, not the Tories, that will be punished at the ballot box. We not only risk fatally harming our chances at the next election, we will betray millions of voters – particularly the young – who saw us as a beacon of hope and put their trust in us only 18 months ago.

“The time for prevarication and pussyfooting around on Brexit has long passed – we must now give voice to the clear majority of people who are demanding a final say.”

Those surveyed were scathing of Ms May’s handing of Brexit, with 73 per cent saying the negotiations are going badly and 86 per cent saying the process is “a mess”.

YouGov surveyed 25,537 adults online between 21 December and 4 January.



The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal.

Sign our petition here

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