The so-called People’s Vote campaign have today held an event on the need for a vote on the final Brexit deal. The screen for the event is emblazoned with a new slogan: ‘If not now, when?’ – in an attempt to argue there’s no time like the present.
— Lizzy Buchan (@LizzyBuchan) December 11, 2018
Whether or not you agree with the sentiment, more people are coming round to the idea that a second vote is likely – the odds on a second EU referendum has moved from 7/4 into Even money in recent days – as a way to break the Brexit deadlock. While Theresa May has delayed a Brexit clash by moving the vote, there’s a feeling that she’s simply putting off the inevitable rather than working on a new plan. Within Parliament, the ‘People’s Vote’ MPs are among the most vocal.
So, were there a second referendum, what would the Leave campaign look like? There are some who say the options on the ballot paper should simply be Remain or May’s deal. Meanwhile, Tony Blair – an advocate of the People’s vote campaign – has said it should be between Remain and a hard (potentially no deal) Brexit. Brexiteers would certainly be keen to run their own version of Leave rather than have May’s compromise deal represent ‘Brexit’ on the ballot paper.
Vote Leave mastermind Dominic Cummings has previously said that Vote Leave would reform in the event of a second vote and win by a larger margin. They wouldn’t be the only Leave campaign group. The Leave Means Leave organisation is currently raising money and building up its network in the event there is a second vote. The prep work has gone as far as getting an agency to help with marketing lines an an election slogan. The slogan suggested? ‘Tell them again’. The thinking being that the campaign could run off the idea Leave voters have been ignored for the past two years and they needed to finally have their voice heard.
The question for pro-EU second referendum campaigners is: are they confident Remain would win in the face of a Leave campaign based on an anti-establishment betrayal narrative?