Divided UK braces for once-in-a-lifetime Brexit vote

File: A poll by Survation last week of 1,030 people found that the Brexit deal was less popular (37 percent) than remaining in the EU (46 percent).

File: A poll by Survation last week of 1,030 people found that the Brexit deal was less popular (37 percent) than remaining in the EU (46 percent).

LONDON - As British MPs prepare for a historic vote on the future of Brexit, the country is back on a campaign footing and the bitter divisions of the 2016 referendum have re-surfaced.

Second referendum campaigners are setting up stalls at Christmas markets nationwide, while hardline Brexiteers are pushing their message of a clean break on tours of Britain.

Different sides in the debate are urging people to put pressure on their MPs ahead of the December 11 vote, hoping their vision of Britain's future will win the day.

Polls indicate that some Britons -- a minority -- do support Prime Minister Theresa May's compromise deal with Brussels, hoping to put an end to a tortuous debate.

But hardliners instead want a cleaner break to escape the "tentacles" of Europe once and for all, while moderates are campaigning for a deal that binds Britain closer to Europe.

READ: Japan's Abe urges UK PM May to avoid 'no deal' Brexit

A poll by Survation last week of 1,030 people found that the Brexit deal was less popular (37 percent) than remaining in the EU (46 percent).

But 41 percent of the same respondents said they wanted their MP to vote in favour of the deal compared to 38 percent who said they should oppose it.

"There is a difference between what the public want conceptually and what they think should happen now, relative to the current political situation," said Survation chief executive Damian Lyons Lowe.

The pollster said this contradiction created "an impasse that many believe can only be bridged by returning to the polls in another referendum or election".

With the government constantly on the brink of collapse, the risk of a no-deal Brexit looming and the prospect of a second referendum in the air, many Britons would agree.