Earlier this morning we proudly declared that we had reached peak Brexit as an ‘English hamper’ was delivered to the EU by former UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe.
Despite a seemingly never-ending array of mistakes, the disastrous election performance by Theresa May’s Conservatives last year, and the hapless performance of Brexit Secretary David Davis, it seemed that we were inexorably moving towards our departure from the EU in March 2019 come what may.
But hold your horses. Because the unthinkable has happened.
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, the man credited with leading the ‘Leave’ campaign to victory in the 2016 Referendum, has said that he is ‘reaching the point of thinking’ that there should be a second referendum on EU membership.
He made the stunning announcement while appearing as a guest on The Wright Stuff on Channel 5 on Thursday morning.
And if you don’t believe us, here is what he said:
“My mind is actually changing on this. What is for certain is that the Cleggs, the Blairs, the Adonises will never, ever, ever give up. They will go on whingeing and whining and moaning all the way through this process. So maybe, just maybe I’m reaching the point of thinking that we should have a second referendum on EU membership… 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. And we just finish the whole thing off and Blair can disappear off into total obscurity.”
Still don’t believe us? Here’s a tweet from Nigel Farage, complete with a video of it:
So why on earth has he come out and said this?
Twitter, naturally, quickly offered an opinion:
I suspect the real reason farage wants 2nd referendum that he actually wants remain to win it so he can resurrect his career by claiming to be the voice of the "betrayed brexiteers" from the 2nd referendum whilst avoiding any responsibility for brexit as it won't have happened— George Court (@courty1793) January 11, 2018
But we, honestly, can’t really rationalise this.
While polls haven’t exactly witnessed a sea change to ‘Remain’ since the referendum, there has been a definite shift that way - and, of course, with a 52/48 win, it wouldn’t take much to reverse the result a second time around. And as the economic and logistical realities of ‘Leave’, as well as the difficulties with resolving issues such as the Northern Ireland border, become ever more apparent, Remainers’ voices have grown ever louder.
’Remain’ would be hugely confident of winning a second referendum. Which Farage must know. But then, everyone thought ‘Remain’ would win the first time around, and the idea of being polled again may spur the ever-contrary British public to double down on their original position.
Perhaps Farage - as he says - believes that, even if Brexit is enacted, the government is currently too weak to enact any sort of meaningful Brexit, therefore it’s worth the calculated gamble of going again, because what is likely to happen - a long transition period - is Brexit only in name.
Or perhaps he simply wants to become relevant again? But then, he chose to resign as UKIP leader in the immediate aftermath of the referendum win, and can look forward to retiring with his full MEP pension being honoured. He’d also forever be credited as the man who made it happen. Why risk it being reversed?
We’re honestly perplexed. If you have any ideas, let us know.