Andrew Neil highlighted a key shortfall in the case for a second Brexit referendum during a heated debate with former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell. Mr Campbell has been an outspoken supporter of a new vote on the final agreement negotiated with the European Union as part of his membership in the People’s Vote campaign. The BBC presenter said: “Even if the withdrawal agreement, if it comes back before an election, was amended to put a second referendum onto it – the Johnson Government is not going to provide the money vote to make that possible.
Mr Johnson has long rejected calls for a second referendum but has tried to trigger a general election two times, with both attempts dismantled as Labour abstained from the vote.
Mr Campbell said: “Andrew, may I just point out, in your excellent interview with Robert Buckland, you went through a number of absolute, cast-iron things that Bori Johnson said he wouldn’t do and he ended up doing.
“I wouldn’t actually rule that out either, that he becomes the one who thinks this is the last resort.”
The former Number 10 Communication Director added: “I also do think now – I accept the public is sick to death of this things and wants shot of it – the worst thing we can possibly do now is that fatigue leading to doing something that actually could damage the country in many different ways.
The European Union is expected to respond to Britain’s request by Friday once European Council President Donald Tusk reaches out to EU leaders to ask whether they agree to a further extension.
Following the vote on Tuesday, Mr Tusk wrote on Twitter he is ready to advise European Union member states to set a new deadline for January 31.
French President Emmanuel Macron is believed to be opposed to a long delay and Brexiteer MP Daniel Kawczynski issued a plea to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Moriawecki to veto Britain’s request for an extension.
But former UK correspondent for Polish Press Agency Jakub Krupa reported Polish Europe Minister Konrad Szymański dismissed Mr Kawczynski’s request due to the negative impact a no deal Brexit would have on Poland.
Mr Krupa wrote on Twitter: “Polish Europe Minister Konrad Szymański rejects @DKShrewsbury’s letter asking for a Polish veto on Brexit extension, telling me categorically that ‘no deal Brexit is not in the Polish interest and we will have no part in this’.”