No second Brexit referendum will be held “in any circumstances”, Downing Street said after a Sky Data poll showed most people would like to see another vote on Britain’s exit from the EU.
Following the results of the survey, Labour peer Lord Mandelson told Sky News a referendum on the terms on the final Brexit deal was “the only way forward” for the prime minister.
But Downing Street reiterated its opposition to any further public vote on Brexit.
Asked about Lord Mandelson’s comments on Monday, the prime minister’s spokesman said there would be “no second referendum in any circumstances”.
According to the Sky Data poll, 50% of people support a referendum asking the public to choose between leaving the EU with the deal suggested by the government, leaving the EU without a deal, and not leaving the EU.
Another 40% said they were against and 10% said they didn’t know.
Asked to choose between those options, not leaving the EU would be the preferred option for 48%, with 27% preferring to leave the EU with no deal, and 13% choosing the government deal.
Some 8% said they would not vote and 3% said they don’t know.
Responding to the results of the poll, Lord Mandelson – who is a director of the Open Britain group who run the People’s Vote campaign for another referendum – told Sky News: “The only way to give democratic legitimacy to the final deal, and to get approval from the public is to put it to such a vote.”
The former Labour minister also insisted promising a referendum on the final Brexit deal would help Mrs May “strengthen her hand against the Brextremists in her own party”.
Asked whether he is actively preparing for a second EU referendum in the UK, Lord Mandelson – who was also a key member of the official Remain campaign during the 2016 vote – told Sky News: “If public opinion continues to shift, as the Sky poll has indicated now it is doing, everyone will have to get ready for a people’s vote on the final deal.”
Tory Remainers also agreed with the sentiment, with backbench Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston claiming the poll result had come “as the Brexit reality becomes clear”.
However, Tory Brexiteer Kwasi Kwarteng dismissed suggestions of a second Brexit vote as a “red herring”.
He told Sky News: “I don’t think that’s going to happen, it shouldn’t happen. We had a clear cut mandate to deliver Brexit and that’s what the government is doing.”
The Sky Data poll also revealed the public overwhelmingly think the government is doing a bad job of negotiating Brexit, with Mrs May’s personal approval ratings also taking a hit.
Fellow Conservative Leave-supporter Andrew Bridgen, a prominent critic of the prime minister and her Brexit strategy, said voters would “obviously” reject Mrs May’s plan for leaving the EU, as agreed by ministers at Chequers earlier this month.
He said these proposals were “not fulfilling the promise we made to the electorate with regard to Brexit”.
Commenting on the Sky Data poll, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said: “In overwhelming numbers, people are concerned about the negative consequences of Brexit.
“However, the Tories are just not listening. They are instead consumed by chaos and confusion.
“The Liberal Democrats do not accept the fatalistic view that people voted to be poorer. We do not believe the Brexit battle is over.”