Brexit ‘crossover’ boosts second referendum odds


Britain has seen a “Brexit crossover” where the number of younger Remain supporters who have reached voting age combined with older Leave voters who have died since the referendum has wiped out the 1.3 million majority that voted in favour of leaving the EU.

With younger people overwhelmingly supporting Remain, and older people predominantly backing Brexit, YouGov have calculated that based on population change alone, the Leave majority has been shrinking by around 1,350 a day.

Shifts in public option since the vote aside, with no one changing their minds, pollsters have calculated that the UK switched from being pro- to anti-Brexit on Saturday.

Backers of a second ‘People’s Vote’ have been quick to highlight the demographic crossover as a reason to go back to the people.

Polly Toynbee in The Guardian says: “The true ‘will of the people’ looks considerably more questionable if it turns out to be the will of dead people – not the will of those who have the most life ahead of them to face the consequences”.

However, Sky News reports that “the conclusion of the YouGov survey has stoked controversy, with accusations of ageism and critics pointing out it was carried out on behalf of those campaigning for a second referendum”.

In a sign that both sides are taking the prospect of another plebiscite more seriously, The Daily Telegraph has reported that a cross-party lobby group fronted by former Ukip leader Nigel Farage is setting up a Westminster campaign headquarters in readiness for a second referendum.

“Leave Means Leave is fundraising and plotting a campaign strategy in the belief that another poll is now inevitable and Brexiteers have fallen behind pro-Remain groups in preparing for a fresh vote,” says the paper.

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In Westminster, Brexiteers have warned of the grave consequences to British democracy if parliamentarians are seen to be thwarting Brexit or even tying to reverse it entirely.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox accused pro-Remain MPs of trying to “in effect steal Brexit”, amid backbench moves to take control of the process.

“You’ve got a Leave population and a Remain Parliament. Parliament has not got the right to hijack the Brexit process,” he said.

The Sunday Times reports that MPs will today unveil their plan “to hijack the agenda of the Commons to suspend article 50, the mechanism by which the UK is leaving the EU”.

The paper reports that two different groups of rebels will look to table amendments to Theresa May’s neutral motion that will seek to allow back-bench MPs to seize control of Commons business and force through their own legislation.

One group, led by Tory MP Nick Boles and former Labour minister Yvette Cooper, will attempt to outlaw a no-deal Brexit. The other, led by former attorney general Dominic Grieve, will seek to extend Article 50.

The government’s Brexit ‘Plan B’, which is due to be set out today and is thought to include plans for a separate bilateral treaty between the UK and Ireland that would remove the hated backstop from the EU withdrawal treaty and prevent a hard border by other means, “would be rendered null and void if the MPs legislation were passed”, says CNN.

Amid accusations the move amounted to a constitutional coup, a spokesman for the prime minister said: “Any attempt to remove the government’s power to meet the legal conditions of an orderly exit at this moment of historic significance is extremely concerning”.

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