For the first time, a majority of Britons support the holding of a new referendum on the final outcome of the Brexit negotiations according to a poll published on Friday.
Some 42% of Britons believe that a new referendum is needed after the negotiations, while 40% are opposed, according to the YouGov survey of 1,653 people for The Times newspaper.
The idea of a new referendum, supported in particular by the organisation People’s vote, has gained ground in recent weeks with the support provided last week by former Minister of Education Justine Greening. A petition in this direction launched Wednesday by the The Independent newspaper collected more than 200,000 signatures by Friday morning.
The poll comes as chief negotiator for the European Union, Michel Barnier, on Thursday rejected the UK government’s “Checkers” plan. This proposal aims to maintain close trade links with the continent after Brexit, scheduled for 29 March 2019, by introducing a new customs control system, whereby the United Kingdom would control and collect duties at its border with the European Union.
“The EU can not delegate, and will not delegate the application of its policy and customs rules, the collection of VAT and excise duties to a non-member, who would not be subject to EU governance,” Barnier told a press conference with British Brexit Minister Dominc Raab in Brussels.
For Barnier, if the UK wants to maintain fluid trade relations with the EU, the solution is to stay in the customs union, which Ms May has ruled out so that the UK can sign free trade agreements with third countries. These statements mean “the death of the Checkers plan”, said The Guardian newspaper on Friday.