Plus: many more Britons now think Brexit is weakening our place in the world, than think it is strengthening itby Tom Clark / November 9, 2018 / Leave a comment
The public is no longer convinced that the Brexit referendum was “fair and legitimate,” according to a new Deltapoll survey, exclusively for Prospect. Days after the controversial bank-roller of the Leave.EU campaign, Arron Banks, was referred to the National Crime Agency, it finds that 42 per cent of voters look back on the referendum as “unfair and illegitimate” against just 38 per cent who think the reverse.
The government, from the prime minister down, has argued since 2016 that whatever side of the referendum people were on they accept the result, and “want us to get on with it.” These numbers call that claim into question. Indeed, Martin Boon of DeltaPoll sees “just how deep is the fault line that Brexit has cut across our politics. The small print of the survey shows that roughly two-thirds of Remainers, in a 64:21 split, look back on the referendum as unfair, but that is almost exactly mirrored by a 63:22 in the other direction among leavers.”
The poll was done for the December issue of Prospect, which examines how Britain could still pull back from the brink, and will appear next week as the Brexit negotiations near their climax, and parliament gears up for the “meaningful vote” which will accept or reject the deal May hopes to strike. As they weigh which way to go, MPs may be alarmed to learn that more Britons (48 per cent) believe from what they have seen or heard of Brexit so far, that it is weakening Britain in the world, against the mere 27 per cent who believe it is making Britain stronger. Again there is evidence of a split along referendum lines—a plurality of Leavers, 48 per cent, still believe Brexit is strengthening Britain, whereas among Remainers an overwhelming 73 per cent think that it is making Britain weaker.
Deltapoll also probed voters on their views of where Brexit and Europe more widely is headed. Despite Britain’s departure, more voters than not—45 per cent—think the European Union will survive intact. Only 36 per cent believe Brexit is just the start, and that Europe will fragment. The Euro-optimists break down pretty evenly among those who expect it to continue much as now (16 per cent); those who expect some more integration (15 per cent); and those who expect it to evolve into a full-on United States…