A senior diplomat Lord Malloch Brown has expressed his desire to overturn the Brexit vote while suggesting that he believes the public regret the decision to leave the EU in 2016.
Sputnik spoke with Jonathan Portes, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at King’s College London to get his take on the current state of Brexit negotiations.
Sputnik: Do you believe that the public has changed it’s mind about Brexit?
Jonathan Portes: There is no evidence that the public has overall shifted its view on Brexit very substantially. There is some evidence that there is a trend towards remain in the polls, but it’s not very large and only amounts to a few percent.
What is clear is that the public has taken the view that the Brexit negotiations are going pretty badly from the point of the UK and that Brexit is probably not going to be a great outcome economically for the UK.
At the same time, the public also appears to think that we had a referendum, we voted to leave and therefore we ought to leave. So there are some contradictions there, but overall it doesn’t amount to a massive shift in public opinion.
Sputnik: Do you believe that no Brexit deal is better than a bad deal?
Jonathan Portes: I don’t think anyone remotely serious really believes that no deal would be anything other than a disaster for the UK economy. We know that no deal would almost certainly lead to significant disruption across a number of sectors across the UK economy and would also be pretty bad for the European countries as well, although obviously worse for us.
I think that the idea that no deal is better than a bad deal, was a rather juvenile slogan on the part of the prime minister, which is certainly not where the government, currently is and everything suggests that the government is going to do its best to avoid a no deal outcome.
Sputnik: Could Brexit now be reversed via the meaningful vote proposed by Lord Malloch Brown or in any other way and could there be another referendum?
Jonathan Portes: Given the way that British politics has developed over the past 19 months, it would be very foolish to say that any scenario is impossible. At the moment, there is no great public appetite for a second referendum and the debate in parliament, at the moment is still very much confined towards debating what sort of Brexit we should be looking for, what sort of Brexit deal we want, in the short and the long term, rather than looking to overturn the result of the referendum.
The views and opinions expressed by Jonatan Portes are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.