Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage says he is close to backing a second EU referendum to end the “whinging and whining” of anti-Brexit campaigners.
Mr Farage told Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff a fresh vote could “kill off” the Remain campaign for a generation.
The former UKIP leader said another vote could be the only way to ‘kill off’ the issue amid relentless resistance from Europhiles like Nick Clegg and Tony Blair.
Speaking on Channel 5’s Wright Stuff, Mr Farage said he thought the result this time would be more decisive, with a bigger victory for Leave.
‘I think if you have a second referendum on EU membership you kill it off for a generation,’ he said.
The intervention sent odds on another national poll tumbling, was hailed by Remainers, and shocked Mr Farage’s allies.
He was immediately condemned by Leave supporters from across parties – who jibed that he had either ‘gone mad’ or was ‘chasing headlines’.
Current UKIP leader Henry Bolton said the party was still opposed to a second referendum.
‘I am convinced that the Leave side would win a second referendum, should one be held, with an even larger majority than before,’ he said.
‘We are already seeing the benefits of leaving the European Union.
‘Nonetheless, to hold such a referendum would be to call into question the decisive importance of the largest democratic exercise ever held by this country and the unambiguous mandate the people gave the government on that day – the mandate take us out of the European Union.’
Fellow UKIP MEP Patrick O’Flynn said: ‘Nigel will get himself plenty of headlines with his surprising call for a second Brexit referendum.
‘But he is as wrong about it as Cable, Blair etc are. We had a once in a generation vote and the Govt’s job is to implement the decision.’
Tory MP Crispin Blunt told Mail Online: ‘Has he gone mad? My instinctive view is that he appears to have become deranged.
‘The people have taken the decision, they have taken the decision for the next 40 years if it’s the parallel to the 1975 referendum.
‘They are not taking a decision for next week that needs to be pored over and re-examined and for another opportunity for people to say it again.
‘I just think if that’s his position it’s daft.’
Labour MP John Mann said: ‘The public has no interest in another referendum – it would be just a soap opera with second rate actors. Let’s get on with the democratic mandate we have been given.’
Bill Cash, another long-term Tory Eurosceptic, said: ‘We have got the referendum, we have got the vote. This is set in concrete.
‘This is what Parliament authorised. This is what the people have decided. We have got the referendum through by a substantial majority. Full stop.’
Former Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith told MailOnline: ‘It is ridiculous.
‘He has been moaning that he has got nothing out of the vote and he is such a preposterous self-publicist.
‘He doesn’t get much coverage any more, nobody is really interested in what he has to say , he has slipped off the radar.’
Mr Farage has been highly critical of the way Theresa May is handling the negotiations with the EU, describing last month’s divorce deal as a ‘betrayal’.
Speaking about the prospect of another vote, Mr Farage said his mind was being changed by the relentless brickbats from Remainers.
‘What is for certain is that the Cleggs, the Blairs, the Adonises will never, ever, ever give up,’ he said.
‘They will go on whinging and whining and moaning all the way through this process.
‘So maybe – just maybe – I’m reaching the point of thinking that we should have a second referendum on EU membership.’
Mr Farage suggested another referendum would have to be in-out again as ‘multiple choice’ would ‘confuse people’.
‘The percentage that would vote to leave next time would be very much bigger than it was last time round,’ he said.
‘And we may just finish the whole thing off. And Blair can disappear off into total obscurity.’
Mr Clegg took to Twitter to welcome the shift, saying simply: ‘I agree with Nigel.’
Anti-Brexit group Best for Britain also hailed Mr Farage’s apparent conversion.
Chairman Lord Mark Malloch Brown said: ‘A second referendum: my message is clear – bring it on.
‘This is something that the country needs. Every day we see the disaster of Brexit it as we see it’s impact on our economy, jobs, communities and our society.
‘With these comments Nigel Farage is disowning the chaos that trying to leave the EU has wrought on this country. Him and his Brexiteer allies have zero idea of what would come next.’
Mr Farage demanded a vote on Brexit for years before David Cameron finally bowed to pressure and called a referendum in 2016.
Leave came out on top by 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
But Remainers have insisted the tightness of the margin means a second national poll should be conducted on the terms of any new deal negotiated with the EU.
Some Labour frontbenchers have also held out the prospect of backing a fresh referendum.
However, Mrs May has consistently made clear that there will not be another public vote.
The PM’s spokesman said today: ‘As I have said many times, we will not be having a second referendum.’
The odds of a second referendum happening were cut from 10-1 to 7-1 in the wake of Mr Farage’s remarks.
So what do you think?
Tell us in the comments.
Source : http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-42649214
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5257959/Nigel-Farage-calls-Brexit-referendum.html