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BREXIT: VARIOUS BRITISH ATTITUDE SURVEYS PAINTS A COMPLEX BREXIT PICTURE.

Most importantly, the surveys did not support continuing claims that people voted for BREXIT because of the “lies” of £350m per week for NHS.

A fieldwork with a sample size of 1716 people conducted by YouGov in September 2017 revealed a mixed attitude of Britain towards Brexit.

The study was conducted twice in September, first between 12th-13th and 22nd-24th September.

The survey comprises of questions that were aimed at measuring the mood of British people on the on-going BREXIT negotiations and to determine if there has been a definite swing from the June 23rd, 2016 referendum.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SURVEY:

On the issue of the second Referendum at the end of the negotiations:

47% do not want another referendum in the first survey while 46% said they do not want another referendum in the second survey. The number of responders that want a second referendum at the end of the negotiations across the two surveys was 34%.

On the question of BREXIT policy clarity by the Labour and the Conservative party:

Majority of responders, 57% believe the position of the labour party is totally unclear or confusing in the first survey but improved to 53% in the second fieldwork while 45% in the first survey of 12th-13th and 30% in the second survey of 22nd-24th believe so when asked about the Conservative party position. Responders were asked to answer this question regardless of whether they agree with either party’s position.

Responders were asked to answer this question regardless of whether they agree with either party’s position.

The implication of this is that the position of Labour party continues to remain unclear, this is made worse by the fact that BREXIT discussion was vetoed in the party conference, thus, the issue was not discussed.

More people responded to being clear on the approach of the Conservative party and fewer remained confused about the government position.

On the question of a transitional deal:

An overwhelming majority believe a transitional deal is a good idea but most also think that the optimum length of a deal should be one year while at the same time most people reject the idea of Britain continued payments of membership fees during a transitional period.

The Prime Minister Florence speech suggested a transitional deal of two years, while Labour’s shadow’s secretary Sir Keir Starmer was reluctant to put a fixed period for the transitional arrangement. On BBC 4 interview after Mrs May speech, he said he wants the period to be as long as it takes but as short as possible, pressed further, he said two years is definitely too short, that Britain should be looking for between 2-4.

This is still dependent on the rest of the EU 27 agreeing to any such arrangement, thus it is not a given. This is complicated, the EU is very likely to demand membership fees during this period on top of the divorce bill, this survey shows the majority of British people sees this as being unacceptable.

On EU Citizens right:

The majority, 61% the first time and 58% the second time of the responders support the idea of continuing to allow EU citizens the right to live and work in Britain, only less than a quarter believe this will not be acceptable.

Considering the large support this particular issue has, it should be one of the easiest for the government to resolve. However, allegations and counter allegations from both the EU and UK on which side is responsible for not moving on this issue are rife.

Although Labour promised to Unilaterally guarantee the EU citizen’s status but did not confirm if Labour would be willing to abide by the EU’s demand, a sticking point in the issue. The demand that those EU citizens, while living in the UK would be subjected to the European Court of Justice.

On the single market and the ECJ:

In what seems to be a spanner in the works of the current government, the majority of responders want Britain to remain in the single market 56% and 58% in the two surveys, compared with 20% and 17% that said it would not be acceptable for Britain to remain in the single market.

In contrast, the majority said it would not be acceptable for Britain to continue to abide by the rulings of the European Court of Justice. 43% of responders rejected this in both surveys, compared with 38% that said it would be acceptable in the first study, this dropped further to 35% in the second study.

On the issue of Government negotiating tactics:

Surprisingly, even though responders favours Britain remaining in the single market, however, when asked a question relating to current government negotiating tactics, the majority said the government should continue with Brexit on its current negotiating terms.

Current government negotiating term specifies Britain will be out of the single market.

42% the first time and 40% the second time want the government to stick to its current negotiating terms, the percentage of responders that want the government to reconsider its aims in Brexit negotiation, and seek a “softer” Brexit is 13% and 12%.

Theresa May vs Jeremy Corbyn:

Despite polls showing Labour surging ahead of the Conservatives by at least 3 percentage point, the majority of responders believes Theresa May would make a better Prime minister, with a lead of at least 10 points over Jeremy Corbyn, she is also trusted to negotiate better a BREXIT deal with a lead of 13 points over Jeremy Corbyn.

VOTING REGRET:

Lastly, responders were asked whether, in hindsight, Britain was right or wrong to vote to leave the EU, the response was evenly spread. 44% of responders on both occasions believe it was a right decision while 44% believe it was a wrong decision the first time and then improved to 45% the second time.

INFERENCES:

This survey by YouGov disputes the notion that suggests Britain would vote to remain in the EU if the referendum was rerun, if anything, it paints a more complex and uncertain picture of how a rerun would turn out.

The emphatic objection by responders to questions relating to Britain continuing to pay membership fees and continuing to be subjected to the ECJ suggest a sustained willingness by voters to still wish to leave the union.

Although majority wants Britain to remain in the single market, the same responders also suggest emphatically that they want the government to carry on with the current negotiating tactics in which the Prime Minister have taken Single Market off the negotiating table.

Most importantly, the surveys did not support continuing claims that people voted for BREXIT because of the “lies” of £350m per week for NHS.

If this was true, there would have been a clear difference in the polls suggesting that overwhelming majority after realising that the £350m was not correct now regrets their voting to leave in the referendum.

SEVERAL OTHER POLLS PAINTS AN, EVEN MORE, COMPLEX PICTURE:

  • The survey that was done by SURVATION but published by EVENING STANDARD on the 1st of July, TELEGRAPH on the 2nd of July and INDEPENDENT on the 3rd of July 2017 finds that 54% of responders would vote to remain in the EU and 46% would vote to leave.

  • A poll published by INDEPENDENT for the Mirror on the 13th Feb 2017 finds  51% would vote to remain while 49% would vote to leave.

  • This broadly agrees with the EUROTRACK poll done between 23rd and 24th July but released 15th August which finds 46% would vote to remain while 43% would vote to leave while 11% would either not vote or unsure.

HOWEVER

  • A survey by YouGov (Different from the one conducted in September) Shows 70% of the electorate want the government to carry out the BREXIT Mandate.

This 70% comprises of 44% hard leavers and 26% RE-leavers (those are people who voted remain but now either want to leave or want the government to carry out the June 23rd, 2016 referendum result). While 21% hard remainders want to reverse the result.

  • This Survey agrees with another of YouGov survey that found the percentage of people that now wants the government to carry out the referendum result was 69%, this is again when you consider people that voted remain but now accept the result of the June referendum or that actively now wants to leave.

  • The study also broadly agree with another survey published by EXPRESS on the 11th of August which refers to a study that was done by London School of Economics and Oxford University that suggests 70% of the electorate wants a clean break from Brussels rule.

INFERENCES:

The combined results show that the result of the 23rd June 2016 referendum would be overturned ranged between 46-54% compared with the percentage that would still vote to leave 43-49%. There is an overlap between the two which indicates an uncertain outcome if another referendum is held.

In contrast, there is an indication that there is a significant number of people that voted to remain in the June 23rd, 2016 referendum but now wants the government to carry out the mandate.

The proportion of the re-leavers is significant, it is unclear whether this group will vote to Leave or Remain in the event of another referendum but seems like this group has the potential to swing the outcome.

Lastly, most of the surveys did not identify or target the population that voted to Leave but will now vote to remain. This is the most significant group if there is to be any chance of overturning the referendum result.

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. HAS BRITAIN REALLY CHANGED ITS MIND OVER BREXIT? – The Analysts

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