Brexiteers back second EU referendum to stop ‘soft’ departure from bloc

Two of Britain’s most prominent Brexit campaigners endorsed a second referendum on leaving the European Union on Thursday as the best way to stop EU supporters from trying to water down, or even halt, the country’s departure from the bloc. Britons shocked the political establishment in June 2016 by voting 52 to 48 percent in favour of ending more than four decades of political, economic and legal ties with the EU. But, with the nation still deeply polarised, disillusion over the complexity of withdrawal setting in and pessimism about the economic impact of Brexit rising, many in the fervently anti-EU camp fear an eventual “soft” withdrawal that would keep key ties and foil any clampdown on immigration. Nigel Farage, a central figure in the “Leave” campaign ahead of the referendum and in its surprise outcome, said he was warming to the idea of holding a second vote to settle the argument on whether leaving was the right decision or not. “Maybe, just maybe, I’m reaching the point of thinking that we should have a second referendum … on EU membership,” the former leader of the small U.K. Independence Party told Channel Five’s “The Wright Stuff” show. “I think if we had a second referendum on EU membership we’d kill it off for a generation. The percentage that would vote to leave next time would be very much bigger than it was last time round.” Opinion polls show little sign of a change of heart among voters. A poll in December… [Read full story]

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