Leavers Unsurprisingly Think Brexit Going Badly Under Same Old Mass Migration Policies

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Only a third of Leave voters think Brexit is going well – under a political class that has barely tried to implement it – although only 47 per cent of all voters would vote to undo it, polls suggest.

Polling conducted by YouGov for The Times found that 41 per cent of people who voted to Leave the European Union believe Brexit is going more poorly than expected, with 34 per cent saying it has been bad for the British economy, 23 per cent saying it has had a negative effect on the country’s place in the world.

Perhaps most remarkably, 41 per cent think Brexit’s impact on immigration has been negative — although something of a correlations equals causation fallacy may be at play here, as Britain’s governing Conservative (Tory) Party has massively increased legal immigration and refused to control illegal immigration in the years since 2016, without Britain’s EU membership or lack thereof playing any great role in either case, despite the historically unjustifiable claims of some Remainers that the French might have been willing to take back boat migrants in significant numbers if Britain was still an EU member.

Moreover, while it has been well over half a decade since the British people’s vote to Leave the European Union, the tortuous process of actually delivering Brexit — sort of — was only completed at the beginning of 2020, and successive British governments have done very little to actually change the way Britain is run in the relatively short time they have been able to do so.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a former Conservative Party leader who, as a Cabinet minister in 2016, broke with the party’s then-leadership to campaign for Brexit in 2016, spoke for many Leavers when he said he was unsurprised by the findings, given the way the way the political class has botched its implementation.

“I’m not surprised Leave voters are unhappy,” he said in comments quoted by The Times.

“I’m bloody unhappy. Boris [Johnson] settled for way less than he should have done in the trade deal and then didn’t do what he should have done to reshape the economy to take advantage of having left the EU,” he explained.

“We need to change the face of the economy to make the UK much more competitive, but nothing has been done.”

Indeed, Johnson signed up to a barely rehashed version of the Brexit deal negotiated by the Remain-supporting Theresa May, which involved paying the EU a multi-billion-pound “divorce” settlement despite the British having been net contributors to the EU budget for decades, fisheries arrangements allowing EU ships to continue plundering British stocks essentially as before, and a trade deal covering goods, where the EU has the advantage, but not services, where Britain had the advantage, among other concessions.

Perhaps most egregiously, Johnson agreed to the so-called Northern Ireland Protocol, which has left a huge swathe of the United Kingdom — namely Northern Ireland — still subject to most EU customs and regulations rules and the jurisdiction of EU judges, and erected a customs border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, causing the regional government to collapse as pro-British, pro-Brexit unionist politicians refuse to participate in it.

Moreover, while Brexit has put an end to unlimited and largely unvetted immigration from the EU under its Free Movement regime, the reduction in overall immigration which most Leave voters expected has manifestly not been delivered.

Indeed, net immigration has remained high and in the most recent figures actually doubled to over half a million a year, and illegal immigration has also increased exponentially as a result of the Conservatives refusing to turn boat migrants back to, in particular, France — a perfectly safe EU member-state.

All of this serves as evidence for many Leavers not that Brexit was a mistake, but that it was a necessary but not sufficient precondition for good governance – with it always being possible that a political class that either never supported Brexit or lacked the guts to really take on the EU to deliver it properly would squander its newfound independence and perpetuate the same old elitist model of government.

A majority of Brexit voters would now support an anti-mass migration party over the Tories.

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery
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