Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage has said he doubts Prime Minister Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement will pass in the House of Commons, while a poll has revealed voters reject the deal two to one.
After the prime minister announced that the vote on the agreement would be postponed in the face of certain defeat she travelled to Europe on Tuesday in attempts to seek “assurances” over the Irish backstop which could lock Northern Ireland into regulatory alignment with the EU.
Mr Farage, who branded it the “worst deal in history,” told Sky News’s Adam Boulton, “Now we see Mrs May charging all around Europe, I’m beginning to wonder why. Clearly, there’s going to be no significant concession of any kind at all I just don’t see how this deal gets passed.”
“She said yesterday repeatedly in her Commons statement she is seeking ‘assurances’ and ‘reassurances’ about the backstop and our ability to leave it.
“But everything you’ve heard today from Verhofstadt, from Juncker, from Tusk, they’re all saying that the withdrawal agreement is not up for negotiation,” the former UKIP leader added, after the three leading Eurocrats said that there would be no further negotiation on the backstop.
— Leave Means Leave (@LeaveMnsLeave) December 11, 2018
“The very best she can get Thursday night is a form of words around it that won’t be legally binding.”
The veteran Eurosceptic’s observation came as a Lord Ashcroft survey found that voters reject May’s agreement two to one, and in a majority amongst Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Leave, and Remain voters.
When asked whether they think MPs should vote to accept the deal as an “imperfect compromise,” 24 per cent of all voters agreed, whereas 53 per cent said that lawmakers should reject it (24 per cent did not know).
‘The will of the people is being betrayed.’
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) December 11, 2018
Conservative voters said yes to the deal 38 per cent to no by 46 per cent; Labour 14 per cent to 66 per cent; Liberal Democrats 22 per cent to 62 per cent; Remain voters supported MPs to vote for the deal 21 per cent to 59 per cent; while Leave backed the deal 29 to 52 per cent.
In a heated exchange earlier on Good Morning Britain, Mr Farage had said, “The will of the people is being betrayed by an out-of-touch elite backed up by their big business friends.”
Lord Ashcroft’s poll also revealed that, again, in the majority amongst Labour, Liberal Democrat, Conservative, Leave, and Remain voters, people did not believe the agreement respected the spirit of the referendum with only 19 per cent overall thinking that it did.