The ￡50billion Brexit backlash: Voters say it is too high a price to pay as majority now back a SECOND referendum on final deal as they fear the EU want to 'punish' Britain after May's botched election
- First major opinion poll since it emerged the UK is ready to pay the EU ￡50bn?
- According to the poll, there is no doubt who 'won' the first round of Brexit talks
- 43 per cent said the EU had got the best deal – only 16 per cent said the UK had
- Majority also believe the bill has more to do with vindictiveness than fairness
The backlash was revealed in the first major opinion poll since it emerged that the Government is ready to pay around ￡50 billion to ensure EU negotiations progress to a new round of trade talks.
According to a Survation study for The Mail on Sunday, there is no doubt who is judged to have ‘won’ the first round of talks between EU negotiator Michel Barnier and Brexit Secretary David Davis.
A total of 43 per cent said the EU had got the best deal – only 16 per cent said the UK had come out on top. And they believe the ￡50 billion bill has more to do with vindictiveness than fairness.
The EU has taken advantage of Theresa May’s (pictured yesterday) ‘botched’ Election to run rings around Britain in Brexit talks – and has used her weakened position to ‘punish’ us with a massive ‘divorce’ bill
Asked why the EU had demanded so much, the top choice among those surveyed was ‘because the EU wants to punish us’, followed by Mrs May’s weakness after her Election gamble backfired. The least popular answer was that it reflects what the UK owes Brussels.
A total of 57 per cent of voters believe the UK should not give the EU ￡50 billion, with only 20 per cent in favour.?
However, asked more precisely how much Britain should pay to leave, just 11 per cent said ￡50 billion was correct. Nearly four out of ten said we should not pay anything at all.?
A total of 17 per cent backed a maximum of ￡10 billion, with a similar number prepared to go as high as ￡25 billion.
However, if paying ￡50 billion is the only way to get a trade deal, it appears voters are ready to grin and bear it. Forty per cent say it is a price worth paying to get a trade deal, while 35 per cent say we should walk away with no deal.
Similarly, 38 per cent support a so-called ‘hard Brexit’, which could see Britain leave the EU single market and customs union. But 24 per cent would prefer a ‘soft Brexit’, in which we stay in both agreements, with an additional 28 per cent who want to stay in the EU.?
The backlash was revealed in the first major opinion poll since it emerged that the Government is ready to pay around ￡50 billion to ensure EU negotiations progress to a new round of trade talks?
And there is clear support for a second referendum on the final Brexit deal. One in two say there should be a second vote when all the talking is done, against 34 per cent who are opposed.
With just 16 months to go before Britain quits the EU, voters are still nervous about its impact on their lives and key public services.
Four of ten admit they are ‘fearful’ about Brexit, compared to 30 per cent who are ‘excited.’
And there is little faith that one of the most controversial claims made by anti-EU campaigners – that it would lead to an extra ￡350 million a week for the NHS – will be fulfilled. A total of 26 per cent said hospitals would get more but 32 per cent said they would end up with less.
?Survation interviewed 1,003 adults on Thursday and Friday.
Shock EIGHT-point lead for Labour: Corbyn stretches his lead over Tories to largest gap for five months, says only pollster to call the Election right?
Jeremy Corbyn has stretched his lead over the Tories to eight points – the largest gap in any poll for five months.
The poll by Survation, which was the only company to accurately forecast June’s General Election result, puts Labour on 45 per cent, with the Conservatives trailing on 37 per cent.?
The findings will be greeted with dismay inside No 10, which had taken heart from the fact that despite Theresa May’s multiplying political problems – her disastrous conference speech, the loss of Sir Michael Fallon from her Cabinet in the sex harassment furore and the pornography row hanging over First Secretary Damian Green – it had not fed through into a significant lead for Mr Corbyn.
Jeremy Corbyn has stretched his lead over Theresa May to eight points – the largest gap in any poll for five months
A fortnight ago, Mrs May’s chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, tweeted after a poll was published giving the Tories a four-point lead: ‘When you are still at your desk 17 hours after you arrived at work, this is the kind of news you want to see.’
A previous Survation poll, on October 5, gave Labour a six point lead.?
The findings came as former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern yesterday described Mrs May ‘out of her depth’ and that Mr Corbyn was ‘beginning to look like he may be the next Prime Minister’.
Speaking in Dublin, Mr Ahern said: ‘They [the Tories] have a weak Prime Minister who is only there because the other headbangers who were on the Brexit side were fighting each other at the time. She came up the middle.
‘I feel sorry for her because she is totally out of her depth.’
The poll by Survation, which was the only company to accurately forecast June’s General Election result, puts Labour on 45 per cent, with the Conservatives trailing on 37 per cent?
Secretive institute behind Boris and Gove's Brexit letter to 'hijack' Number 10 faces probe by charity watchdog?
The controversial think tank which played a key role in the secret Brexit letter written by Michael Gove and Boris Johnson is being probed by Britain’s charity watchdog.
The inquiry into the Legatum Institute by the Charity Commission follows an investigation by The Mail on Sunday which revealed the organisation’s secret role in pushing the Government towards a ‘hard Brexit’ withdrawal from the EU.
The commission is examining whether the institute’s trustees are ‘actively protecting and promoting the charity’s independence’ and whether its close links to Tory Brexiteers render it in breach of its duty to focus on ‘the advancement of education for the public benefit’.
Over the past year, Legatum Institute economics director Shanker Singham has held a series of private meetings with Brexit Ministers and officials, including a summit at Chevening, the Kent grace and favour country house used by Boris Johnson and David Davis.
The controversial think tank which played a key role in the secret Brexit letter written by Michael Gove and Boris Johnson is being probed by Britain’s charity watchdog
The commission is examining whether the institute’s trustees are ‘actively protecting and promoting the charity’s independence’ and whether its close links to Tory Brexiteers render it in breach of its duty to focus on ‘the advancement of education for the public benefit’
Many of Mr Singham’s ideas, including scrapping EU regulations and finding extra money for a ‘no deal’ Brexit, were included in a letter he secretly co-authored with Johnson and Gove, which was sent to Theresa May in October – and then leaked to the MoS.
This newspaper also disclosed how Christopher Chandler – the Monaco-based tycoon who established the institute – had helped to build his fortune through the ‘disaster capitalism’ of post-Soviet Russia.
His allies cut deals with President Vladimir Putin’s associates. When we approached the institute last week about Mr Chandler, who ploughed his fortune into the Dubai-based Legatum Group investment firm, a spokesman tried to distance Mr Chandler from it. The institute was ‘an independent, public charity’ he said and was ‘not part of the Legatum Group’.
Furthermore, ‘Christopher Chandler was not involved in running any of the [institute’s] operations or programmes’.
But on Tuesday Mr Chandler was photographed emerging from the institute’s Mayfair HQ – in the week it was holding a board meeting – next to institute chairman Alan McCormick, who doubles as managing director of the Legatum Group.?
The following evening, Mr Chandler attended a reception held by the institute at Tate Britain, again with Mr McCormick. Mr Chandler mingled with guests including leading Tory Brexit MPs Bernard Jenkin and Owen Paterson.
This week Christopher Chandler was photographed emerging from the Legatum Institute’s Mayfair HQ - despite claims he was 'not involved' with the institute
Legatum Institute economics director Shanker Singham was pictured leaving the Mayfair HQ 45 minutes after?Mr Chandler
This newspaper has also established new details of a Brexit row that split the institute after chief executive Philippa Stroud, a former aide to one-time Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, was appointed chief executive following the EU referendum last year.
Up to half its 20-strong staff were reportedly fired or resigned in a Brexit ‘purge’, paving the way for it to be turned into what one insider called ‘the hidden intellectual driving force behind the Government’s Brexit plans’. The rift led to distinguished pro-EU economist and journalist Anne Applebaum quitting the institute after a row with Ms Stroud.
A friend of Ms Applebaum said: ‘As soon as Philippa arrived, it was clear she was blindly committed to a hard Brexit and wanted to concentrate on that and nothing else.
‘She believes it will bring glory to Britain and does not want to listen to any dissenting voices.
‘Anne said the institute is supposed to be about ideas. Philippa got very cross and said, “Ministers don’t want ideas, they want policies.” ’
The friend added: ‘After the referendum, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson were desperate. They realised they had no idea of the practicalities involved in leaving the EU.
The Mail on Sunday had previously revealed Gove and Johnson's letter to No 10
‘Legatum offered to do it for them but has nothing like the expertise it claims to have and now has its own strong ideology. They believe everything Shanker Singham tells them but he is not as experienced as they think in negotiating trade deals.’
To replace departed staff, Stroud recruited several prominent fellow ‘hard Brexit’ supporters, including Matthew Elliott, former chief executive of Vote Leave, and businessman Toby Baxendale, who ran hard-line Eurosceptic Andrea Leadsom’s Tory leadership campaign.
Ms Applebaum is an expert on meddling in the West by Russia and Vladimir Putin. But friends stress Mr Chandler’s background in Russian business had nothing to do with her departure.
Other recruits had previously worked for Ms Stroud’s Centre For Social Justice, a Right-of-centre anti-poverty campaign group set up by Iain Duncan Smith, which has strong support from evangelical Christians.
A well-placed source said that some institute employees were ‘uncomfortable’ about working for Ms Stroud because of her involvement in a gay rights controversy in 2010. Ms Stroud, as head of the Centre for Social Justice, was revealed to have once founded a church that tried to ‘cure’ homosexuals by driving out their ‘demons’ through prayer.
The Charity Commission said last night that it would ask the institute to give ‘assurances that they continue to comply with guidance on the advancement of education for the public benefit and are actively protecting and promoting the charity’s independence’.
Charities are allowed by law to undertake political activity in support of their charitable aims but they are not allowed to pursue such aims solely through political activities.
A Legatum Institute spokesman said: ‘The institute was always conceived as a convening location. It has 5,000 visitors a year and this week it was teeming with people from around the world preparing for the [Tate Britain] event, so it was natural that Mr Chandler spent time catching up with staff at the institute.
‘To our knowledge, no one left the Legatum Institute due to our research on how to make the best of the people’s decision regarding Brexit. The Legatum Institute is apolitical. There was no “putsch” by the Brexiteers.’
The spokesman denied that any concerns about Ms Stroud’s religious beliefs had been raised with her.
Secretive institute behind Boris and Gove's Brexit letter to 'hijack' Number 10 faces probe by charity watchdog
The police watchdog has sad officers who claimed they had found porn on Damian Green's computer had violated public trust in the police
Britain's top policing watchdog last night rallied to Damian Green’s defence by arguing that former officers who claimed pornographic images had been found on his computer had violated public trust in the police.
Sir Tom Winsor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, spoke out as the de facto Deputy Prime Minister fought to avoid the sack over ‘smears’ about indecent images being found on his Commons computer during a 2008 raid.
On Friday, former detective Neil Lewis disclosed his notes from the raid and claimed that on some days porn was browsed and open on the computer for hours.
The claim that ‘extreme’ material was found on Mr Green’s work computer was first made by Bob Quick, a former Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner, and publicised last month amid claims of Westminster sleaze.
But in a statement last night, Sir Tom warned that officers must not divulge confidential information gathered during investigations. He said: ‘The obligation of confidentiality, and the duty not to break trust, is an enduring one. It does not end when an officer retires.
‘The public need to know that when information about their private lives comes into the possession of the police, and that information is irrelevant to the work of the police, its confidential nature will be respected in perpetuity. If public confidence in this respect is damaged, and people do not believe they can trust the police, great harm may be done.
‘Such violations may have a chilling effect on the willingness of victims and witnesses to co-operate, and that will be at the expense of public safety and justice. Almost all officers, serving and retired, would deprecate actions which flagrantly violate the trust every citizen should have in the police.’
Standing by her man – the picture that shows PM was always his closest chum?
FRIENDS: Theresa Brasier, as she was then known, circled with Damian Green. His future wife Alicia is in front row
If Damian Green is forced to quit the Government, Theresa May will be losing one of her oldest friends, as well as her most loyal Cabinet ally.
They have known each other for more than 40 years and are pictured alongside each other, above, at an Oxford University Edmund Burke Society dinner in 1976. They grew up 25 miles apart in the Home Counties. In the front row, is Alicia Collinson, Mr Green’s girlfriend at the time and now his wife.
At the time, Ms Collinson was the tutorial partner of Theresa Brasier, as she was then known, at St Hugh’s College. Mr Green attended Balliol.
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