The Mail on Sunday today had a new Survation poll on Brexit, YouGov had a longer Brexit poll in the week. After a general election that was supposed to be a “Brexit election” but didn’t really contain much debate about Brexit, the agenda is now moving back onto the subject.

Public opinion on Brexit tends to be a bit unclear and nebulous. It’s one of those subjects where the impression created by a poll depends an awful lot on the questions asked and the wording used. With complex issues where people’s opinions are fairly uncertain it does makes an awful lot of difference how you ask the question. As ever, the best way of understanding it is to look at all the polling, not to jump on bits that appear to tell you want to want to hear. So in the spirit of that, what can we tell?

What sort of Brexit people want

Questions about the sort of Brexit people want come down to a couple of different patterns. One is asking if we should stay in the single market and/or the customs union. Other questions frame it as a trade off between immigration control and free trade. My preference is generally for questions that ask about Brexit packages are a deal, but there are even countless different ways of doing that (most notable degree to which they are described using terms like “soft” and “hard Brexit”).

There is also a question of what criteria you measure Brexit preferences by. It’s not just whether the sort of Brexit that the government delivers is seen as being good for Britain, it’s also a matter of whether it is seen as democratic. Are the government honouring the referendum result? This is most evident in questions about what the government should do now. 48% voted for Britain to remain a member of the EU in June 2016 and if you ask if that result was the right or wrong thing to do, or how people would vote if the referendum was repeated, you tend to find not much has changed: about half the country would vote to stay. However, questions asking what the government should do NOW generally paint a very different picture. YouGov consistently find around half of Remain voters now say that while they don’t support Brexit, they think they government is duty bound to go ahead with it. A new question on their poll this week asked what the government should now do on Brexit following the general election – 66% wanted to proceed with Brexit (43% on current plans, 23% for a softer Brexit), 17% wanted a fresh referendum, just 7% wanted to stop Brexit completely.

That’s not because only 7% of people would, ultimately, like to remain in the European Union (later in the same poll YouGov asked people to put their favoured outcomes in rank order and 35% of people would still, ideally, like Britain to remain a member), it’s because a substantial proportion of people think that the government has a duty to go ahead an implement the referendum result, even if they personally disagree with its outcome. For anyone campaigning for Britain to remain in the EU, that’s probably the more difficult obstacle… not convincing the public that Remaining would be good, but that it would be democratically legitimate.

Soft v Hard

If we are to leave, that brings us to the question is the balance between “hard” and “soft” Brexit. The terms themselves are a problem – personally I try avoid using them in questions as it’s unclear what people understand by the terms (Note how opponents of hard Brexit have started to call it “extreme Brexit”, rather than “hard Brexit”). I’ve always assumed that there is a majority to be found in favour of a “soft Brexit”: 48% of people voted to stay in the EU as it was and would presumably be fairly happy with a soft Brexit. Equally some minority of Leave voters would prefer a soft Brexit to a hard one. Even if the vast majority prefer a harder Brexit, when combined with the opinions of Remainers it only takes a few percentage points of soft Leavers to build a majority for soft Brexit.

Just asking about whether people would like to keep free trade or stay in the single market rather misses the point. I suspect the single market is just being seen as a euphemism for free trade, so the vast majority say they want to keep it. Equally when it is asked in isolation a large majority of people want to end the right of EU migrants to freely come to Britain. To give one example, a poll by NatCen earlier in the year found 68% in favour of treating EU migrants like non-EU migrants, and 88% in favour of free trade with the EU. These don’t tell us much beyond the the fact that ideally people would like all the benefits of EU membership without the responsibilities – of course they would. The interesting questions come when we start asking people to make trade offs.

There have been lots of different questions asking people to pick between free trade and immigration control when it comes to the Brexit deal. The wording makes a difference here (I am suspicious of questions asking about “freedom of movement” and the “single market” because I’m not sure people know exactly what they mean), but there is a clear pattern. To give some examples:

  • Opinium ask a regular question asking people to choose between the single market and ending free movement of Labour, typically the split is down the middle (in their last poll 37% preferred staying in the single market, 38% preferred ending free movement).
  • NatCen in February found 54% thought we should “allow people from EU freely to come and live and work” in return for “allowing UK firms to trade freely with the EU”, 44% did not.
  • In February Ipsos MORI found 40% of people thought EU citizens should continue to have the right to free movement in return from British access to the EU single market, 41% thought they should not, even if that meant losing access to the single market

These questions all assume, of course, that the public see this as an actual choice. That is not nececssarily the case – some people think it is a false choice, and that Britain will indeed be able to have its cake and eat it:

  • In March YouGov asked a version of the question that asked people to choose between it being more important to control EU immigration than keep free trade, more important to keep free trade than control immigration… but gave people the option of saying that it’s a false choice and that it was possible to do both. 16% thought it was more important to control immigration, 24% that it was more important to keep free trade… 40% that it was possible to do both (when forced to choose the 40% split down the middle, so overall more people wanted to keep free trade)
  • Opinium have a question along the same lines asking how likely they think it is that Britain could both stay in the single market AND stop free movement of labour from the EU – in their last poll 16% thought it was likely, 37% either didn’t know or didn’t think it likely or unlikely.

Looking overall at the questions, they tend to show it either very close or slightly more people valuing free trade over immigration control. However a substantial majority do think that both are possible, so actually selling a compromise as necessary may be tricky for the government.

Another caveat is that these questions do rather assume that the public’s big sticking point is going to be immigration. That’s not necessarily the case – for example, in April ICM asked in what areas the government should be willing to make compromises in negotiations: 54% said that a transitional deal on immigration would be acceptable, 48% said giving preference to EU immigrants over non-EU immigrants would be acceptable. On contrast, a majority thought that it would be unacceptable for the government to compromise on paying towards the outstanding costs of EU projects agreed when Britain was still a member. YouGov found similar in polling last summer – 51% thought allowing EU immigration was a price worth paying, but only 41% thought a financial contribution to the EU would be. Don’t necessarily assume that immigration is the trickiest obstacle.

Equally, before assuming that costs would necessarily be a deal-breaker for the public, the Survation poll at the weekend asked a different trade off – whether people would be willing to pay a fee in order to secure membership of the Customs Union. 27% would like Britain to leave the customs union, 37% would rather Britain pay a fee to remain a member.

Some other polls have asked wider ranging questions, asking about whole Brexit packages. My general assumption is that this is likely to be a better guide – in the end the Brexit deal is likely to be judged by whether it sounds good overall, rather than on a sum of its parts.

Before Theresa May set out her negotiating stance at the start of the year YouGov asked people about various Brexit scenarios. These suggest more problems with selling a “soft Brexit” to the public: a Norway style soft Brexit where Britain became a member of EFTA, stayed in the single market with EU immigration and a financial contribution was seen as good for Britain by 35%, bad for Britain by 38%. However only 32% thought it would respect the referendum result, 42% thought it would not. Compared to that Theresa May’s version of Brexit is popular – asked this week 52% still think her version of Brexit would be good for Britain (compared to 51% in March), 61% think it would respect the result of the referendum. By promising a trade deal AND controls on immigration she is presenting a version of Brexit that people would be happy with. The question is whether it is realistically possible. If May fails to secure the sort of Brexit she has asks for and returns with a deal that involves only limited free trade and customs checks and tariffs on British people think it would be bad for Britain by 42% to 31%.

Has the election changed the situation?

Given the variations you get from different question wordings on Brexit, the only real way of measuring if attitudes to Brexit have changed in face of the general election result are long term tracking questions. The YouGov survey this week was mostly made up of repeats of questions that were last asked before the election was called, and with a few important exceptions, opinion hasn’t changed much.

Directly comparing people’s preferences on Brexit there does appear to be a little shift towards a softer Brexit. Last November a hard Brexit of some sort was the first preference of 52% of people (26% favoured no deal at all with the EU, 26% only a limited deal), a soft Brexit or remaining a member was favoured by 48% (17% a soft Brexit, 31% remaining a member). Now only 45% support a hard Brexit (23% no deal, 22% a limited deal), 54% either a soft Brexit or Remaining (19% and 35% respectively).

The more drastic change has been confidence in Theresa May to deliver Brexit. Obviously this is not Brexit specific – the public’s attitude towards May has nose-dived across the board. Nevertheless, back in January 47% had confidence in May to negotiate the sort of Brexit she wanted, that has now fallen to 37%. In April 40% thought the government were doing well at negotiating Brexit, that is now only 22%.

This change is important – ultimately when Theresa May comes back with a final Brexit deal, she will be the person selling it to the British public (if she is still there, of course). Any political message depends a great deal on the person making it, and the Theresa May the public mostly thought very highly of in April 2017 would have been a far more effective saleswomen than the Theresa May we have now. To put it bluntly, she doesn’t have much political capital left to spend on selling her Brexit deal.

A second referendum?

Polling on a second referendum is somewhat mixed. The Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday at the weekend found 53% support a referendum on the final dead, 47% opposed, compared to 46% support and 54% opposition when they asked a very similar question in April. I should add a minor caveat in that the first question was asked online and the second by phone, but the important thing is the result: this appears to be the first poll that has shown more people supporting a second referendum than opposing one, so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on to see if it’s a consistent pattern.

The YouGov poll this week asked a different question on what should happen after the final deal was agreed, offering options of a referendum or a Parliamentary vote, though it again appeared to show some movement. Only 25% wanted a referendum on the deal, 23% want a Parliamentary vote on the deal, 37% want the government to go ahead without any further. The proportion wanting a referendum or vote after the deal is up two points since the start of the month, the proportion thinking the government should just steam ahead is down five.

What next?

If there is public support for a softer Brexit out there, it does not mean it’s necessarily easy for the government to take advantage of it. The biggest obstacle for a soft Brexit is probably the politics of the Conservative party. The figures in most of this article are for the public as a whole. However, Theresa May’s position and her party’s position depends on the views of Conservative voters and those who might plausibly support them in the future. If you look at the answers for Tory voters, they think that a hard Brexit is preferable to a soft one, that May should plow on with the current targets rather than reconsider, that immigration control is more important than trade.

It would be interesting to see the same split amongst Conservative MPs (given the proportion who backed Remain it may not necessarily be in favour of hard Brexit), though the more pertinent question may be whether there are enough Conservative MPs who are wedded enough to the idea of a hard Brexit that they would trigger a vote of no confidence to remove Theresa May if she changed course. That, however, is steering away from this site’s focus on public opinion and polling into political commentary for which others are far better equipped than me. For now:

  • There has not really been much change in the overall proportions between Remain and Leave
  • But even if there is a fairly even split between people who think Brexit is good or bad for Britain, the proportion of people who think Brexit should go ahead is higher, as many of those who voted Remain think the referendum make it the government’s duty to go ahead with it
  • The ideal Brexit for much of the public one where Britain has its cake and eats it, where we control immigration AND have free trade – a substantial minority think this is possible
  • The version of Brexit that Theresa May laid out in January, with immigration control and the “freest trade deal” is still popular with a majority of the public
  • But trust in Theresa May to actually deliver it has plummeted over the last few months and most people don’t think other countries would agree to what she wants
  • If the sort of deal that May wants isn’t possible then most people think a harder Brexit would be bad for Britain. In contrast a Norway type deal risks being seen as not respecting the result. There is potential for either to be unpopular (especially for those people who think a cake-and-eat it deal was possible)
  • If push comes to shove, when people are forced to choose more people would opt for a soft Brexit rather than a hard one, for free trade rather than immigration control. However among Conservative voters the preference is the other way, and the political obstacles towards the Conservatives making such a change in their approach could be formidable.


915 Responses to “Public opinion on Brexit”

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  1. Bit of a mess, then.

  2. First?

  3. I think Anthony’s summation shows how difficult it’s going to be for May to sell any Brexit deal to all parts of her party. In addition there are bound to be other unforeseen events that arise in the weeks and months ahead that will test a minority Government.

    Factor in existing issues including inflation/ standard of living, public sector concerns, the fall out from Grenfell and ongoing terrorist concerns and it does look like she faces a gruelling period. She will do very well to still be in charge at the end of Brexit negotiations.

  4. Brilliant and fascinating analysis Anthony; thankyou.

    What it demonstrates to me, more than anything is the absurdity of condensing a complex and interlocking set of possibilities and options into single yes or no question. We have parliament to deal with such things on our behalf.

    And then to expect anything other than an answer based largely on an uniformed, knee jerk reaction, based for the most part on an inadequate understanding of the issues.

    Additionally, just to make matters worse, with many people answering a different, much more generalised and opaque question:

    “Are you fed up with politics and politicians in this country, in general?”

    Now, if we are seriously going to consider another referendum, I find it very difficult to imagine the terms in which any question or questions could be posed.

    So I return to a point I made previously: the main Brexit party is now not in sole control of events. There is almost certainly a large majority of MPs who, at the very least, wish we had not voted to leave the EU.

    To offer yet another of my very favourite American expressions: you do the math.**

    [** That one actually nearly makes me sick.]

  5. Wow. Quite a blockbuster Brexit review from AW. Many thanks for that.

    I think the takeaway message is that the country is totally split and basically doesn’t have a clue what’s best.

    As an unrepentant remainer, I accept that we will leave, it will be catastrophic, and there’s nothing I can do about it except sit back, watch and nod sadly as events unfold.

  6. I agree with Paul, and the trade offs are seen through a purely UK negotiating prism, even if we can agree on what we want, that’s not necessarily what we’ll get. This makes me wonder, has anyone polled on Breentry – i.e. we leave, as I think we must, but if in ten years things look bleak – would people vote to try to return. Someone must be thinking about this.

  7. somerjohn

    Similar to my take on it.

    Except I plan to be sitting far enough away from the mess. No point being on the bus while people fight as to how fast it should be driven off the cliff.

    Once Brexit doesn’t matter personally it’s actually pretty amusing to watch.

  8. Ouch!

  9. The value of opinion testing on Brexit,and on preferences for free trade and continued acceptance of EU immigration (variously to some extent controlled) as against an exit from free trade with the EU, and more fully controlled EU immigration, is diminished by a lack of public knowledge. This lack of information and public awareness relates especially to needs of free movement of labour for continued growth in the economy, the benefits of migration in demographic balance, and in supplying needed care, health and service workers.
    That information, though available in ONS and related studies, was lacking or was distorted in the EU referendum.
    I make this point, not to argue for any disregarding of the force of the referendum, but as a factor which should be addressed in polling methodology and in the interpretation of poll results on public attitude and opinion about migration as a factor in economic growth and social wellbeing.

  10. What a mess. No matter what course is taken, no matter who is in charge, they will face a large chunk of the population that is deeply dissatisfied with their actions.

    It is now absolutely crucial to make it clear to the electorate that they cannot have their cake and eat it, and must choose a lesser evil (i.e. trade over restricted immigration or vice versa). Until people are aware what price their choice will have, they will refrain from making a real choice.

  11. Actually, if it wasn’t so serious it would be funny.

    David Cameron, in his best, matey manner says:

    “Very easy question folks – in or out? In’s best by the way.”

    So, marginally, the country [partly answering a completely different “easy” question] says …. “Err…. out, we think……..”

    And NOW the Governement says:

    “Ah….. actually, now we think about it, its a lot more complicated than that. Would you like to be completely out, a little bit out but a little bit in – or actually we could probably offer to do for that last one for you the other way round if you like, so that……. no hang on, don’t stop listening, I haven’t even got started on the other options yet.”

    To offer a decent English phrase – “Oh deary me.”

  12. Many thanks, Anthony.

    Excellent summary as far as GB is concerned, and a good exposition of why it was an advisory referendum, albeit one which the previous Con government decided to treat as definitive.

    Perhaps the only surprising omission in all the polling I recall to date is the complete lack of GB polling re NI & Gibraltar and their special circumstances.

    The so-called British sense of fair play doesn’t seem to apply to them. Given their special circumstances of needing open borders I’m surprised that no polling seems to have asked what, if anything, should be done to preserve their ways of life.

    The one good thing about GE 2017 is that for once the DUP have a very real say in what happens next. We’re all in new territory now, but I confess that I never dreamed that I should be wishing the DUP well!

  13. interesting BBC news on the radio. One conservative remainer, one labour remainer and one Brezit economist. They all seemed to agree that a deal was impossible in two years and that an interim deal was essential. The amount of agreement was really surprising to me.

  14. Excellent summary of the complex issues AW.

  15. It’s a mess and not worth the bother. The whole referendum idea was cooked up by Cameron to help him win power in 2015.

    The gains if there are any, and it’s a toss of a coin if there are any gains, are so marginal that it’s not even worth tossing g a coin to find out.

    The country’s been sold a dud based on feeble arguments and the promise of recreeating the glory days of merry old England,

    That’s what happens when you let the opinions of the Daily Mail run the country.

    Laughing stocks of Europe we are.

  16. First issue I have is the conflation in the poll of a customs union (CU) with the EU and membership of its single market (SM). CU is in principle compatible with ending of freedom of movement; most of SM certainly is not. It is possible to have CU without SM; it does not make sense to have SM without CU. They affect different people in different ways. I appreciate that most people are not interested in the difference.

    There was no question about acceptance of European Court of Justice’s jurisdiction, necessary for CU.

    I wonder what the proportion of people now think that the Brexit and Remain campaigns were each fundamentally truthful / untruthful.

    There was no question about how Brexit is expected to affect the respondent personally. The last survey I saw identified 50% of the population who thought they would not be personally affected. I would expect that that number has fallen a bit but I would like to know more.

    The most notable issue is the large minority who still believe in the Farage / Johnson proposition that it is possible to eat cake and still have it.

  17. Not to worry our massive trade deficit is our biggest asset in the Brexit talks, Europe will do anything to keep selling us stuff that we can’t afford. They are definitely too stupid to ask how we are going to pay for stuff

  18. TONYBTG
    “The country’s been sold a dud based on feeble arguments and the promise of recreeating the glory days of merry old England,”

    It it were that clear a choice it might be easy to decide, and would get a resounding not on your nelly. In fact the offer was based on a purposeful illiteracy, obscuring not a defined national purpose but one which continues to be both secret and confused in the minds of the politicians who sold the country a pup..

  19. paul croft

    The trick is to make it not serious. Then Brexit gets to be enjoyable.

    The current chapter is a real hoot, my only wish is that I could read ahead a bit further.

  20. Interesting to see Starmer suggest that staying in the Customs Union was “still on the table” when he was interviewed by Marr this morning. Marr was poor though. He failed to pick up the self-evident truth of Starmer’s reply that you could only remain in the single market if you were a member of the EU, and because we’re leaving now as a result of the referendum, that is no longer an option. Marr couldn’t seem to understand the logic of Starmer’s position and looked for him to categorically rule out something that by it’s very definition was impossible anyway. He wanted a facile denial as if it would be some journalistic revelation. Silliness.

    Starmer, as a former DPP, was impressive on the Grenfell Tower disaster and its likely legal fallout. His level-headed and calm approach suggested to me a politician of some substance and appeal. It is to Corbyn’s credit that he has him on board and his very presence in the Labour shadow cabinet gives the lie to the idea that Corbyn is building a sect and echo chamber around himself. What he has to do now is broaden his shadow cabinet further and face down some of his more triumphalist supporters looking to cleanse the Labour leadership team of any traces of centrism.

    We should soon find out whether Corbyn is more than a mere campaigner albeit a very good one, and is instead a real leader interested in power. His 12.6 million voters expect him to be the latter, I think. He should look there before worrying about what the membership think. If he panders to that group instead of the 12.6 million, then he’s coming to crash and burn. Big test for him now. I sense a nation looking at alternative governments and wanting to find one. Time to step up to the plate for the Leader of the Opposition.

  21. John pilgrim

    That’s because Brexit does not mean Brexit.

    It’s e Holy Grail.

    It’s means different things to different people.

    To Daily Mail readers, it’s was a vote to “get our country back” – whatever that really means,

    To the older generation, it was a vote to return to how things used to be, when they were young, the past is often viewed through rose tinted specs. Things were so much simpler and happier when I was young, Brexit will return the country back to how things were when I was young, So it must be good.

    To the poorer, down on their luck. Brexit was a cry for help. Things need to change, this is change, so this must be good,

    Finally, some people voted Brexit just to put a spanner in the works. I have a friend who is a committed European. But he is also an anarchist. He told me he voted leave just to see the establishment in chaos,

    It’s a mess. Cameron opened up Pandora’s box in what I am sure will be seen by future generations as the greatest act of national self harm ever committed by a developed nation.

    Are we really stuck with this nonsense?

  22. Tonybtg

    “Are we really stuck with this nonsense?”

    Yes because we are superior to those continentals, we won’t allow the euro elites into browbeating us into changing our minds in another referendum

  23. Tonybtg

    “are we stuck with this nonsense?”

    Without exercising your freedom of movement, it would seem so.

  24. Poll alert:

    NEW Survation for @GMB CON 41% (-1); LAB 44% (+4); LD 6% (N/C); UKIP 2% (-1); Others 8% (-1) (change since June 5th)

    https://twitter.com/Survation/status/876578165002575872

    Some of the supplementary questions are better for the Conservatives. Country in a complete muddle.

  25. Tbh considering all the mess at the moment, that’s not bad for the Tories. Labour would have expected better I’d imagine, despite the lead.

  26. I’m confused. I thought the previous Survation result was on 10th June (Con 39%, Lab 45%, Lib Dems 7%, UKIP 3%, Others 6%). Why are the changes being given from the 5th June? Was the post election survey a different type of poll?

  27. That’s not changes from the last poll

  28. The poll also states that 48% believe TM should stay and 45% she should go. TM backed to negotiate Brexit by 52% to 39% for Corbyn.

    55% favour soft Brexit (or rather whatever they see soft Brexit as being).

    This would suggest to me that the Conservatives might be better off sticking with TM for the time being.

  29. Rogue poll! Lol

  30. @ TONYBTG

    “Laughing stocks of Europe we are.”

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155368350083480&id=540783479

  31. CON lead (since May 9th):

    17% (9/5)
    18% (15/5)
    9% (22/5)
    6% (30/5)
    1% (5/6)
    -3% (19/6)

    (@Survation)

  32. Voting Intention (change since May 9th)

    CON: 41% (-7)
    LAB: 44% (+14)

    (@Survation)

    That 10.5% swing over 6 weeks is extraordinary.

  33. On the plus side for the Tories, that VI is *still* holding up amazingly well, particularly given all the negative coverage of the last week.

  34. SSSimon,

    I notice you’re not including the poll on the 10th June either. Please could someone explain why it isn’t being counted. Here’s a link to prove I haven’t imagined it http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-party-jeremy-corbyn-lead-theresa-may-conservatives-tories-survation-poll-general-election-a7784171.html

  35. @ Steven Wheeler

    It’s because it’s not part of their GMB polling (thus it’s not in series). Nothing sinister. You didn’t imagine that poll.

    http://mailchi.mp/survation/post-election-poll-for-the-mail-on-sunday-1118693

  36. @SSSimon
    Thanks. Presumably they use the same method for GMB and Daily Mail polls so I’m ok to compare the new poll with the one on 10th of June and say that Labour looks to have slightly dropped back from where they were?

  37. @ Steven Wheeler

    The 10/6 poll was conducted online, and this one by phone. They need to be like-with-like for a direct comparison.

    I do think it’s fair to say that Labour doesn’t seem to have advanced any further since last week though, while the Tories seem to be sticking around 40%.

  38. Shame our politicians seem unwilling (?unable) to find a way to work together in order to present a unified position on brexit with overwhelming commons support. Would strengthen UK negotiators in Brussels. A grand coalition focussed solely on brexit, with agreement to not legislate on anything else (as far as possible) and to hold another general election immediately after the A50 2 year period ends.

  39. I find it amazing that Labour are so high in the polls when even in the last few days McDonnell has called for a million people on the streets to overthrow the government and Corbyn has called for the requisition and/or occupation of private property. I would have thought that the majority would recoil from such positions. Perhaps a reaction will show in the next poll. G’night all.

  40. Pete B

    Requisition of empty properties was very popular but I’m not sure about the million people on the streets, haven’t seen any polling on that

  41. Pete B

    The requisition of empty properties idea is fairly straightforward populism. People are far more apt to empathise with working class folk made homeless by a tragedy than some faceless foreign millionaire, particularly when they aren’t even using the property to house anyone. Of course the public responded generally favourably to the suggestion. According to YG’s live poll, even 40% of tories liked it.

  42. Sorry, that should be Tory voters.

  43. My take on Brexit is that most people want ‘sensible’ Brexit and what is ‘sensible’ will not be known until negotiations have progressed. At this stage it is impossible to know whether the UK will get a good deal and life after Brexit would be same as now or better.

    What cannot be argued, is that the EU and the other 27 EU member states holds most of the trump cards in the negotiation. They know that the UK would not leave without a deal and go onto WTO terms. That is because that would be potentially ruinous to UK businesses and jobs would be lost, not to mention massive increase in price of goods imported.

    I cannot see the EU trying to take advantage of the UK, as they have to think beyond the bitterness of divorce. The UK is still about the sixth largest economy in the world and imports billions of Euros worth of goods from the EU every year. London is a very important finance centre and the UK is host to thousands of businesses owned by EU mainland headquartered companies. Therefore, there would be a financial consequence to a bad Brexit deal that made the UK suffer.

    Personally, i support a second referendum on the Brexit deal, as people need to be able to vote on actual details. If Brexit will affect the cost of living, security of jobs and rights etc, then it is important that there is a democratic vote. The referendum in 2016 did not provide many real facts and unfortunately contained some blatant untruths such as the £350 million a week extra for the NHS. Those who support Brexit should not be afraid of having a second vote, as it might just cement Brexit.

  44. I suspect that the reason that support for a further referendum has grown somewhat is that the scales have been pulled from some people’s eyes as far as Theresa May is concerned and the trust she somehow generated has dissipated over the last few weeks. More people are wanting their own say on the issue, rather than allowing her carte blanche.

    Her rise to PM was, it seems to me, more based on the fact that she wasn’t any one of the other candidates, who were seen as very, very poor options, rather than the fact that she was an outstanding candidate. Personally I couldn’t stomach her from the beginning and found it very hard to understand why she was so popular. Was it desperation?

    Sadly, even now, I cannot detect a politician anywhere who has the capability and strength to sort out the mess we’re in. There appears to be a distinct shortage of white knights when the country desperately needs at least one and possibly a whole heap of them. .

  45. Lol at the spin. People trying to make it sound like wanting to ‘overthrow’ and have a revolution, when McDonnell actually said the rather more democratic ‘force a new election’, the democratic tight to protest being spun as disorder.

    ‘Requisition private property’ is also spin because it lacks the qualifiers. Sounds like a desire to take over all private property. As opposed to the very limited case of a few properties kept empty, during a crisis. Property gets requisitioned in wartime too.

    Obviously, parties play games with words, but we might ourselves ideally be kinda above it and aware of it, of how such things influence opinion. Especially given how precise wording is vital in polling questions.

  46. Whilst I understand why pollsters agonise over precise wording I do have to wonder whether whether those being polled perceive, understand or appreciate the crafted subtleties involved. It seems to me that in the heat of the moment, generally, those carefully phrased nuances are boiled away under the heat of each person’s personal prejudices and the answer reflects the question they think or would have liked to have heard.

  47. Survation

    Is it possible that just as the political class got the election wrong they are now getting the post election mood wrong. Before the election they could not believe the tories would not get a large majority now they believe Labour is rampant and a new labour government is inevitable and TM is toast.
    However, that is not what polling shows. TM is still the most popular political leader after the most viscious political attacks i can remember. She is also the most trusted to deal with Brexit.
    what will the political class say if the polls move back to the Tories?
    If i was TM i would be feeling quite chipper this morning.
    IMHO a lot of the hysteria against TM is from a remain political cadre because their new proposed party is shot and they have switiched tactics to remove may and put a more emollient candidate in place

  48. Excellent summary of all the Brexit polls. Thank you AW

    Talks start today! As many have mentioned Brexit is a political poisoned chalice – the polls continue to move towards LAB but still some way off a comfortable LAB majority (the survation poll would make them around same seats as CON in a hung parliament so LAB would need C+S from SNP/LDEM). As AW mentioned, CON might bring themselves down with internal divisions over Brexit so it would seem better for LAB to continue kicking them when they are down rather than rushing for a 2nd GE (IMHO).

    Anyway Brexit official talks day1.

  49. It increasingly seems to me that a second referendum on the final deal will be the only solution to ensure there is actually some form of consent for the outcome.

    I can’t see any other way that could prevent very serious trouble.

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