Survey shows majority of Brits now reject Brexit

Published:  22 Sep at 6 PM
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As PM Theresa May prepares her Brexit speech, a new poll reveals the majority of British citizens believe the UK is better off within the EU.

The poll, conducted by BMG Research on behalf of the Independent newspaper, clearly demonstrates a majority of Britons now understand the complexity and potential disaster of withdrawal and would prefer the country to remain within the European Union. It’s believed the turning point came during the past few weeks as the deadlock between the two negotiating teams became unmanageable and cabinet splits were made public.

Results from the new poll of 1,400 British adults were a mirror image of last June’s referendum numbers, with 52 per cent backing the Remain cause and 48 per cent supporting the Leave camp. A similar poll conducted in July showed a 50/50 split between the two options, indicating the confusion and lack of achievement of the negotiations to date had caused a shift in pro-Brexit sentiment.

Theresa May’s upcoming speech in Florence is expected to focus on the importance of negotiations, with prior details of its content given to ministers late last week and resulting in a public display of parliamentary unity. Reports that Brexiteers were threatening to leave the front bench should the PM soften her Brexit stance were brushed under the carpet and left unmentioned.

May’s approach to persuading the EU to continue the negotiations is linked to her offer of around 20 to 30 billion as a ‘divorce settlement’ and includes the possibility of a two-year transition period in which the UK would continue its EU contributions. It’s understood the PM won’t voice any expectations as regards Britain’s remaining in the single market, nor will she elaborate on a longer-term plan tethering the UK to EEA regulations after the transition period comes to an end.

The PM’s cabinet is still at odds with itself, with Brexiteers including Boris Johnson urging a clean break and moderates including Philip Hammond insisting British businesses should see as little disruption as is possible. May’s final opinion seems to be that the UK needs a unique bespoke deal with no resemblance to those of Norway and Canada. No mention seems to have been made about the elephant in the room – the plight of the millions of EU and UK expats stuck in limbo as the clock continues to tick.
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