Less than a fifth of Leave voters believe Brexit has ‘gone well’
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Less than one-fifth of Brexit voters believe it has been a success seven years on from the 2016 referendum, according to new polling.
The findings – based on an online survey of 4,005 UK adults from 26 May to 2 June and carried out by Public First on behalf of UK in a Changing Europe – show that only 18 per cent of Leave voters believe Brexit has gone “well” or “very well”.
Thirty per cent believe it has “neither turned out well or badly”, while 29 per cent of original Leave supporters think Brexit has subsequently had a negative economic impact on the UK.
According to the polling, 72 per cent of Leave voters now want to stop talking about Brexit.
Of Leave supporters currently unhappy with how Brexit has turned out, 70 per cent believe it could have gone well, while 18 per cent feel the decision to leave the EU could only have turned out badly.
Nearly half of that group believe Brexit could have been made to work by politicians, but the elected representatives did not try hard enough to make it succeed.
Anand Menon, director of UK in a Changing Europe, said: “While very few people think Brexit is going well, a large number of Leavers also believe it is still too soon to make a definitive judgment.
“Many Leave voters believe Brexit has not been a success because politicians have let them down. The danger is that this will lead to an erosion of faith in politics and politicians.”
Indeed, the figures show that 88 per cent of Leave voters who feel Brexit has gone badly now say they have “lost faith” in UK politicians, with 75 per cent of all those surveyed – regardless of how they voted in 2016 – feeling the same way.
Rachel Wolf, from Public First, said: “Few think Brexit has gone well, but was that inevitable? Leave voters, by and large, don’t think so.
“People like [Nigel] Farage are playing into a more general view that politicians messed it up. On the other hand, people are not exactly keen to keep talking about Brexit. ‘Get Brexit done’ – i.e. make it go away and stop talking about it – still works.”
Brexit continues to be something of the proverbial curate's egg for the UK – good, in parts.
Earlier this year, the UK government introduced the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, which it claimed would ease the compliance burden for businesses and help them collectively save £4.7bn.
A trade data-sharing deal was also struck between the UK and the EU in January this year, granting the EU access to a new British database providing real-time information on goods going from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. This was deemed as a step towards a broader Brexit deal and widely perceived as a significant step towards the improvement of UK-EU relations and the unlocking of the Northern Ireland protocol. The latter still remains a bone of contention.
Illustrating the less-positive repercussions, Brexit was cited last month as posing an "existential threat" to UK car manufacturing, with one of the largest automakers in the country warning that British car factories could be forced to close if the UK did not renegotiate the current Brexit deal.
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