Unexpectedly, Nigel Farage has suggested he may be in favour of a second Brexit referendum. Many Remainers are supportive of the idea. But people who voted to leave the first time are less pleased.
Maybe, just maybe, we should have a second referendum on EU membership. It would kill off the issue for a generation once and for all.
So Nigel Farage wants a referendum on Mrs May’s Brexit deal. I agree. Bring it on!
I see everyone now v. confident either Leave or Remain wld win 2nd ref. Takes a special kind of obliviousness, after last 2 yrs, to be so sure of things.
People who would normally support Farage, i.e. the Leave voters, have been less impressed.
Responses such as the following were typical on Twitter:
Sorry Nigel. I've always supported you but not on this one. The remoaners will never give up if we had 12 referendums voting leave. Would a 2ND referendum be honest and fair? They would allow 16 Year olds to vote. They'd do anything to reverse the Brexit vote. I'm astonished
— Loyal Ukipper 🇬🇧 (@Brexit59) January 11, 2018
Commenters on a Mail Online article were similarly displeased:
The suggestion has also gone down poorly with UKIP – the party that Farage was formerly the leader of:
— Richard Hilton (@RichardHilton1) January 11, 2018
Nigel Farage’s call for a second referendum is a complete surrender to the Remain campaign. Farage has clearly been bought off by the Establishment. He's no longer the spokesman for Leave, and he is no kind of a spokesman for #UKIP. The party should now move to swiftly expel him.
— Gareth Bennett AC/AM (@GarethBennettAM) January 11, 2018
— Gawain Towler (@GawainTowler) January 11, 2018
Farage isn’t without support, though. Campaign group Leave.EU has issued a statement from its co-founder Arron Banks. It says:
Nigel’s decision to call for a second referendum comes after eighteen months of backsliding by a weak, incompetent prime minister egged on by her Remain entourage.
If we do not act radically now, we will sleepwalk into a faux Brexit, in name only. True Brexiteers have been backed into a corner and the only option now is to go back to the polls and let the people shout from the rooftops their support of a true Brexit….
Leave would win by a landslide. The Tories don’t want to do what the electorate have instructed. Perhaps we need to shout louder.
Banks’s statement has been met with similar responses to Farage’s:
Your credibility is shot. You went out of your way to vilify Vote Leave (rightly in my view) for proposing a second referendum as part of their pitch for the Leave campaign nomination. You're playing into the Remainers' narrative – fools
— John Bickley (@JohnBickleyUKIP) January 11, 2018
WTF you been smoking? No to a second referendum, if the government are backsliding and not upholding the respect of the people then call for a no vote of confidence and remove the government NOT play into their hands..crazy 2wat🙄🙄
— Steve (@Steve97761) January 11, 2018
A dangerous game
The proximity of Farage and Banks’s statements suggests that this may have been planned out in advance. But the response they’ve received so far suggests they might be walking on thin ice. And we only have to look back one week to see what happened to Steve Bannon – a man who was roundly turned on by the American right for comments he made about Donald Trump.
But regardless of whether or not this proves to be Farage’s Bannon moment, it will still be interesting to watch.
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Featured image via screengrab