As Brexit crunch nears, campaign for new referendum gathers pace

LONDON (Reuters) – After losing the most contentious referendum in British history, James McGrory went for a drink in The Hope pub near London’s medieval meat market. Amid butchers in bloodied coats, his dream of reversing Brexit seemed hopeless.

James McGrory, Director of People’s Vote political campaign group, stands for a portrait on Lambeth Bridge in central London, Britain November 29, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Two years later, with the country in crisis over how or whether to leave the European Union, McGrory is feeling more confident that his campaign can help secure another referendum that he hopes would overturn the 2016 result.

The idea of a second referendum has been gathering support from some senior British politicians and seems to have traction with sections of public opinion, but the political situation is so uncertain that it is hard to say whether this will actually translate into another vote, and when or how that might done, or what question might be put.

“We have gone from being seen as a fringe view, dismissed and laughed at, to now being at the centre of the Brexit debate,” McGrory, the 36-year-old campaign director of the People’s Vote campaign, said in an interview.

“The odds are getting shorter every day that we get another referendum. All the momentum is with our campaign.”

Betting odds show there is a 43 percent probability of an EU referendum before 2020. Gamblers think there is a 55 percent probability that Britain does not leave as planned on March 29.

Opinion polls suggest there has been a slight shift by voters towards remaining in the EU, but the public remains broadly split down the middle.

It remains unclear how exactly a second vote might be called,

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