Voters prefer no deal to Theresa May's Brexit. Project Fear won't change their m

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Offline the leveller

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Hello Everyone,

I have forwarded the following excerpt from Robert Henderson's newsletter on to my MP, Jonathan Lord, and wondered if you would like to send something similar to yours.

Sonya

Voters prefer no deal to Theresa May's Brexit. Project Fear won't change their minds
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Theresa May selling her Chequers deal on BBC CREDIT: JEFF OVERS/BBC /PA
Theresa May wants to have her own "fireside chat" with the British people tonight, sitting down with Nick Robinson to talk on BBC Panorama about why she feels her proposed Brexit vision deserves their support.
The Prime Minister is even managing to talk positively about Britain's prospects outside of the European Union, declaring that Brexit "gives the United Kingdom opportunities as an independent and sovereign state to build a better future for all our people,” and that "I believe that our best days are ahead of us.”
But the stirring rhetoric seems to have run dry over Chequers, as Mrs May plans to continue her strategy of selling it to Brexiteers as the least worst way of delivering what they wanted. It is, she will say, the only proposal that avoids a hard border in Ireland "and ensures that we don't carve up the United Kingdom". The alternative in her mind is not Canada plus, as Brexiteers like Boris Johnson desire, but "not having a deal".
The possibility of a no deal Brexit cannot be ignored, not least because it is the default outcome of the negotiations under Article 50. Nothing needs to happen for it to automatically take place near the end of next March.
By contrast, Chequers still needs lots of hard graft in Brussels just to get an agreement among European leaders to work - however aspirationally - towards something like it. Even then Eurosceptics like Michael Gove are itching to make Brexit Britain's ultimate relationship with the EU much bolder.
Mrs May has undoubtedly been hoping that recent headlines about what the Government might have to deal with in a no-deal Brexit would send voters running away from it and towards her Chequers plan. But talk of things like a sperm shortage and higher credit card charges has yet to shake voters' preference for no deal over Mrs May's desired deal.
Both Sky Data and YouGov have found that over twice as many voters would plump for Brexit without any deal over a deal that would set Britain up for the Chequers vision. Survation found just last week that no deal outpolled Chequers by a similar margin (19 per cent compared to 9).
compared to 9).
Economic bigwigs have been weighing in, with Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, pronouncing today that a no deal would cause a "reduction in the size of the UK economy" due to its "shock to supply [resulting in] reduced growth, increased deficit, depreciation of the currency". Philip Hammond, living down to his Eeyore reputation,  added that he thought a no deal Brexit threatened to set the British economy back 10 years.
 
Yet such warnings will remind those tempted by no deal Brexit of how dramatic the great and good sounded about even voting to leave the EU during the referendum. It will be easy for them to then shrug it off as a reprise of Project Fear. As Sir Bernard Jenkin put it on the Today programme this morning: "We’ve had figures made up all the time by the scaremongers in this debate, and I’m afraid nobody believes them.”
Voters have seen how angry Brexiteers are by the proposed future for Brexit Britain Mrs May hammered out at Chequers, and that has driven them to now prefer any other form of leaving, be it Canada or no deal.
The Prime Minister and her colleagues should have sought to advance a positive, upbeat case for Chequers. Instead, they have preferred to stay negative, focusing on arguing about how much worse every other option would be.
In the referendum, positivity triumphed over Project Fear. If Mrs May clings to the same gloomy rhetoric in her efforts to bring in those tempted by other forms of Brexit, she is destined for failure. After all, how can she expect the British people to feel positive about Chequers if those behind it can't even muster much cheer about it
 


 
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