POLL: Brits Overwhelmingly Reject Tory ‘Soft Brexit’

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to party supporters as she campaigns in the North East of England during a visit to the Linskill Centre on May 12, 2017 in North Shields, United Kingdom. The visit takes the Prime Minister to a traditional heartland of Labour Party support as campaigning events …
Ian Forsyth/Getty

The British public is overwhelmingly opposed to the Prime Minister’s plan for a “soft” Brexit and almost a third of voters are prepared to back a new, right-wing party committed to a clean Brexit, a poll shows.

Theresa May’s Chequers Brexit plan will keep the United Kingdom tied to all the bloc’s goods rules, severely limiting the nation’s ability to control trade policy, and reports suggest she could also retreat on migration, allowing “Free Movement by another name”.

The survey, conducted by YouGov for The Sunday Times newspaper, shows only a tenth would pick the plan if there were a second referendum and nearly half think it would be bad for the nation.

Furthermore, just 16 percent of voters say Mrs May is handling Brexit talks well, compared with 34 percent who say that former foreign secretary Boris Johnson would do a better job after he resigned from the government and received surprise backing from U.S. President Donald J. Trump.

Meanwhile, about 38 percent would vote for a new, right-wing party committed to Brexit and 24 percent are prepared to support an explicitly “far-right anti-immigrant, anti-Islam party”, according to the newspaper.

Another third of voters say they would support a new, anti-Brexit party on the centre of the political spectrum.

A string of other recent polls has shown the Tory party falling behind Labour in voter support since Mrs May announced her “soft” Brexit plans, with UKIP picking up support.

Meanwhile, a survey from last week showed more of the British public view Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson as a “leader” of people who back Brexit than they do Theresa May.

And tellingly, the poll revealed that more Tories see the former UK Independence Party leader as a head of the Brexit movement than their own leader.

Over the weekend, it was reported that the pro-Brussels Chancellor Philip Hammond has been pushing for “labour mobility” and “preferential” treatment for EU migrants after Brexit, hoping to appease Germany’s Angela Merkel and win a trade deal.

However, the new Brexit secretary Dominic Raab was talking tough on Sunday, promising the agreed £39 billion Brexit ‘divorce bill’ will not be paid if the EU fails to agree on a trade deal with Britain.


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