The government is about to come under increasing pressure to hold a public inquiry into the consequences of Brexit. A parliamentary debate is likely to be held soon to discuss the growing demand for an official independent inquiry. Remarkably, it will be the very first time that parliament has ever held a debate on the consequences of Brexit.
Last night, support for a petition calling for such an inquiry reached 100,000 signatures
That means that Parliament will almost certainly hold a debate. Petitions which reach 100,000 signatures are almost always debated, according to Parliament’s own website.
Opinion poll on Brexit inquiry
Significantly an opinion poll, conducted by the polling company, Omnisis, just six days ago, suggests that 62% of the British public now want to see an inquiry held into how Brexit has impacted Britain’s economy, businesses and citizens – and that only 22% are against the idea.
Peter Packham, Chair of the National Campaign for a Public Inquiry into the Consequences of Brexit ,said:
“The latest poll findings confirm just how widespread is the feeling that we need an objective independent assessment of how Brexit has so far impacted our country”.
“The government has stated that the consequences of Brexit are not ‘an appropriate subject for a public inquiry’”.
”However, we think they are wrong – and that the public has a fundamental right to know the reality of what Brexit has done to our country.
“It’s entirely wrong that the government wants to deny the British people their right to know – and we hope that large numbers of MPs will attend the likely upcoming parliamentary debate.”
A debate is needed
Peter Packham said:
“Whether you are for or against it, Brexit Is without doubt the most significant event in 21st century British history – so it is quite extraordinary that there has never before been a parliamentary debate, dedicated to its impacts and consequences. So the probable upcoming debate in Parliament will be of substantial historical significance. We therefore hope that MPs from all parties will participate in it”.
The petition was originally launched in late November by Peter Packham, with support from his local branch of the European Movement – Leeds for Europe.
The petition’s rapid growth and the likelihood of the first Parliamentary debate on calls for a Public Inquiry coincide with recent opinion poll data suggesting that leavers are increasingly shedding their support for Brexit. So far this year, the average gap between pro and anti Brexit views has put ‘re-join’ sentiments 11.6 percentage points ahead of ‘stay-out’ views. That’s dramatically different to the first half of last year when ‘re-joiners’ were on average just 2.9 percentage points ahead. Public opinion started to more rapidly turn against Brexit in October – just one month before the current major petition, calling for a Public Inquiry into Brexit’s consequences, was launched on Parliament’s website.
However, opinion poll data suggests that the idea of an Inquiry is attracting support from both anti-Brexit and pro-Brexit camps and others. Indeed support for an Inquiry is currently an impressive 40 percentage points ahead of opposition to one.