James Forsyth

Nigel Farage’s referendum call should be greeted with caution

Nigel Farage's referendum call should be greeted with caution
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What to make of Nigel Farage talking about why there might need to be a second Brexit referendum? To some on the Remain side, this is a moment—the Evening Standard have splashed on it, the Liberal Democrats have welcomed it and Labour MP Chuka Umunna has declared that Farage for ‘the first time in his life is making a valid point’. They reason that if the man who was so influential in there being a referendum in the first place is open to a second one, surely it will happen?

But I don’t think this is right. Farage’s comments were, I suspect, driven as much by a desire to be back in the headlines as anything else. There isn’t yet any sign of a great, concentrated public desire for another vote. (Indeed, the only thing that could probably cause that would be an economic collapse, which is very different from the mild slow down we have at the moment).

Now, obviously there might well be another referendum on the EU some day; 2016 was our second on the question. But I doubt that this referendum will come before Britain has formally left the EU.