Stanley Johnson, a renowned journalist, father of politician Boris Johnson and author of the new book Kompramat, which takes a satirical look at the political whirlwind that was 2016 gave his view on Farage’s change of heart and whether the British public has a desire for a second Brexit referendum.
Sputnik: Do you believe Nigel Farage truly wants a second Brexit referendum?
Stanley Johnson: I think there’s a certain evolution in Farage’s thinking; since he said what he said on TV. In the course of the day on his own radio show, he evolved somewhat, so I think you could say that he doesn’t necessarily want to have another referendum but he appears to be worried that the outcome, as it may be worked out over the course of negotiations, won’t in his view, fully reflect what he thinks people voted for on June 23, 2016.
That appears to be the motivation, he seems to think we need to make not just clear, but doubly clear that we want to leave, so that there is absolutely no doubt in people’s minds, so that seems to be where he is coming from.
Sputnik: Were the public misled on the terms of Brexit and do they want a second referendum to take place?
Stanley Johnson: No I don’t believe that; absolutely not. There were a lot of issues out there, so the public took a view on all the evidence presented to it and I don’t feel they were misled.
There’s been not much change on the basic question, as between leaving and staying. At the same time, I don’t think there is much appetite even among the remainers, as far as polls go, for a second referendum.
The remainers appear to be saying well you know; we had the vote and that’s where we are. So I think it’s been an interesting interlude and of course some people have been writing and tweeting, that this is all driven by Farage’s desire for publicity.
Sputnik: Is a second referendum realistically likely to take place and would a no deal Brexit be worse than a bad deal Brexit?
Stanley Johnson: Regardless of what happens in the negotiations; unless all 27 countries agree to extend the article 50 period, then whatever happens in the negotiations, Britain is leaving on March 29, 2019, so to that extent it’s virtually impossible to imagine that you could have a new Brexit vote in the country, a new referendum vote, before then, I find it very difficult to imagine that.
I don’t have any worries about a no deal Brexit myself. Who can tell what the outcome will be? I’m perfectly confident, I mean Britain survived perfectly well before 1973 and I’m sure we’ll survive perfectly well after 2019. So no; it doesn’t worry me in the slightest.
The views and opinions expressed by Stanley Johnson in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the position of Sputnik.