Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Guardian: Theresa May faces public backlash over hard Brexit, poll finds

The Guardian: Theresa May faces public backlash over hard Brexit, poll finds


A clear majority of the British public oppose Theresa May’s uncompromising Brexit negotiating position and are not prepared for the UK to crash out of the EU if the prime minister cannot negotiate a reasonable exit deal, according to a new poll.

In a sign that public support for the government’s push for a hard Brexit is increasingly precarious, just 35% of the public said they backed Britain leaving the EU without an agreement with other states. The UK would then fall back on to World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs, which MPs and business leaders have claimed would devastate the economy.

The survey – conducted by ICM for the online campaigning organisation Avaaz on the day the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly to trigger article 50 – suggests May would face a considerable backlash if Britain crashed out of the EU on WTO terms. In a welcome boost for soft Brexit campaigners, over half (54%) of those surveyed backed either extending negotiations if a satisfactory deal could not be reached, or halting the process altogether while the public was consulted for a second time.

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