Farage’s latest idea is going down like a plate of cold sick with Brexit voters

John Shafthauer

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.

Unfinished business

Farage said:

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.

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The idea has played well with many prominent Remainers. Lord Adonis, who recently resigned as an infrastructure tsar and referred to Brexit as a “nationalist spasm”, said:

So Nigel Farage wants a referendum on Mrs May’s Brexit deal. I agree. Bring it on!

Ian Dunt, author of Brexit: What The Hell Happens Now?, was more cautious than other Remainers:

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.

Surprise

Responses such as the following were typical on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Brexit59/status/951410143903838209

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:

Support

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.

And:

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:

https://twitter.com/JohnBickleyUKIP/status/951458282836766720

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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