The British public would prefer to cancel Brexit or hold a second referendum than to leave the EU without a deal, a new survey revealed.
The poll undertaken by BMG found that 43% of voters would choose to revoke Article 50, the decision to leave the EU, over a chaotic no-deal Brexit, which was supported by 38%, with 41% backing a second referendum.
The survey suggests that the electorate are highly skeptical that Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt -- the two Tory leadership candidates -- can negotiate a successful deal before Oct. 31 and avoid the political turmoil that forced Prime Minister Theresa May to resign.
The prospect of a no-deal Brexit has significantly risen since May announced her resignation in the month of May and the likelihood of ardent Brexiteer and former Foreign Minister Boris Johnson becoming the next prime minister, who has pledged to leave the EU in three months with or without a deal.
The survey held with 1,532 people also found that 41% of voters believed there is not enough time for a new deal to be brokered between London and Brussels and then be passed through parliament by the end of October when the U.K. is once again expected to leave the bloc. 39% believe there is enough time to pass a deal.
Furthermore, 35% of the electorate would support an extension to the exit date to ensure enough time to find a better deal. When asked if May’s deal still commanded support, a mere 21% said they would back the prime minister’s thrice defeated deal.
Europhile MPs are preparing a new motion that would prevent the new prime minister from forcing through a no-deal Brexit in parliament in October. Tory rebel and staunch remainer Dominic Grieve is pushing through an amendment that would make it impossible for parliament to be suspended.
Philip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer, has been at the vanguard in criticizing Hunt and Johnson over their support for a no-deal and is heading a group of 30 Tory MPs that are planning to stop a no-deal Brexit from being forced through parliament.
Johnson has declared in an article on a pro-Brexit site that he will make the U.K. “match fit” for a no-deal Brexit to ensure that it can leave the bloc on Oct. 31 and that there would be no second chances beyond the proposed deadline.
“We need a change of direction. That’s why we must treat 31 October as a real deadline for leaving the EU, come what may, not a fake one,” Johnson said, adding that “if our friends feel they cannot agree, then we will be match fit for no deal”.