Johnson faces rising opposition to no-deal Brexit threat
A poll in the anti-Brexit Independent claims UK voters decisively reject threat by the new prime minister, Boris Johnson, to leave the EU without a deal.
Johnson has been named prime minister but has only won his party leadership contest and it remains unclear if he can control a parliamentary majority.
Only 34 per cent of voters said they wanted Johnson to push through a “no-deal” Brexit on October 31 with 49 per cent calling him to delay, cancel the whole process or hold a people’s vote.
The findings come with the caveat that the pro-Brexit Telegraph commissioned a survey with participants backing a hard Brexit, although the polling was dismissed as biased by remainers.
The BMG Research survey said the public was gloomy about Johnson’s chances of negotiating an improved withdrawal agreement, with only 19 per cent saying he could squeeze out concessions from Brussels.
Voters reportedly said they favoured MPs being given a final vote on the Brexit outcome by just 42 per cent to an alarmingly high 39 per cent.
Guto Bebb, a pro-Remain Conservative MP who intends to step down at the next election and is also willing to back an opposition-led emergency government of national unity, said: “There is no mandate and never has been a mandate for a no-deal Brexit.
“Boris Johnson in 2016 promised a better deal than our current one with the EU. Why can’t he deliver that promise rather than the disaster of a no-mandate no deal?”
Jo Swinson, the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrat leader, said: “A no-deal Brexit must be taken off the table. Not only, as the poll shows, is there no public support for it, it is also incredibly irresponsible for any government to pursue something that will result in job losses, damage to our economy and hit our public services.”
At least 35 Conservative MPs have told Johnson they oppose a no-deal Brexit but it unclear how far they are prepared to go to stop his apparent plans for a chaotic hard Brexit.
Dr Philip Lee, a Conservative former minister, has said he was thinking about defecting to the Lib Dems.
But many others may hope their party leader will shift towards a deal with Brussels, allowing them to avoid splitting the party in parliament.
“I’m in denial, to be honest,” an unnamed Conservative MP, who is on holiday and opposes a no-deal Brexit, said, according to the pro-remain Guardian. “I have no idea what I’m going to do in September and even less in October.”
Another MP said she was trying to forget about politics until hard decisions had to be made when parliament returns.
Some observers say it is probably important that MPs have time away from politics as a busy two months loom with parliament facing uncharted waters and the possibility a rival government being formed.
The numbers of protesters outside parliament will probably increase next month. Picture credit: Eurasia Times