Majority of Britons Don’t Trust Politicians to ‘Do The Right Thing By the Country Over Brexit’

TOPSHOT - Anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray (L) talks with pro-Brexit supporter Joseph Afrane as they walk near the Houses of Parliament in London on March 13, 2019. - British MPs will vote Wednesday on whether the country should leave the EU without a deal in just over two weeks, after …
ISABEL INFANTES/AFP/Getty
VICTORIA FRIEDMAN

A poll has found that Britons are more comfortable with the “brief uncertainty” of a clean-break Brexit than are happy with a Brexit extension, and a clear majority think the European Union is punishing the United Kingdom for wanting to leave.

In a poll for The Telegraph by ComRes, 46 per cent said that leaving the EU in a clean break would “briefly cause some uncertainty but ultimately work out okay,” while 40 per cent supported an extension to Article 50.

MPs voted that the UK must leave the EU on March 29th; however, Prime Minister Theresa May surrendered ground to Remainers last month and agreed that should her unpopular Withdrawal Agreement be voted down for a second time, she would allow a vote on taking no-deal off the table and delaying Brexit.

A poll taken in advance of last week’s House of Commons vote on extending Article 50 found that a majority of Britons were against any Brexit delay; in despite of public opinion, the lower house voted to delay Brexit on Thursday.

Unsurprising, the recent ComRes poll also revealed that 68 per cent do not “trust MPs to do the right thing by the country over Brexit.” Asking on behalf of eurosceptic campaign group Leave Means Leave, 44 per cent were also found to believe that the government “seems to be in favour of remaining in the EU and has set out to thwart Brexit from the beginning” with just 27 per cent disagreeing.

Also asking on behalf of Leave Means Leave, ComRes found that 50 per cent of Britons believe that ruling out no deal weakened the UK’s negotiating hand.

Former foreign secretary and board member of Vote Leave Boris Johnson warned against taking no-deal off the table earlier this month, whilst leaver and leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom said doing so is a bid by Remainers to stop the UK from leave the EU at all.

Respondents to the Telegraph-commissioned poll also said that May’s Withdrawal Agreement does not deliver Brexit (54 per cent) with only 18 per cent saying her deal honours the June 2016 vote, while 61 per cent believes that Brussels bureaucrats are out to punish the UK in negotiations by being as inflexible as possible.

European and Brussels leaders have long-talked, openly, of giving the UK a hard time in negotiations to discourage other member-states considering an exit, with European Parliament president Antonio Tajani saying last week, “The example of the British will serve as a deterrent.”

Mrs May is meeting with her Cabinet on Tuesday after Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow ruled out a third Commons vote of her Withdrawal Agreement on Monday. European lawmakers told the prime minister to prepare fo a no-deal after she lost the second vote on her deal last Tuesday, as Brussels would not be granting an extension without a “plan.”

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU is expected to be discussed by European leaders at a summit on Thursday, with Germany’s Europe minister Michael Roth telling media today, “The clock is ticking and time is running out… I expect clear and precise proposals from the British government why such an extension is necessary.”

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