Poll: Brits ‘Losing Confidence’ in Brexit Talks, Majority Think EU out to Punish UK

This week's Brexit talks feature a stripped-down schedule, with EU negotatior Michel Barnier and his British counterpart David Davis set to meet only on Friday morning

Almost two-thirds of British voters believe the EU is seeking to punish Britain in the Brexit negotiations, according to a new poll.

The survey, by Lord Ashcroft, also found that both Remain and Leave voters are losing confidence in a good outcome from the Brexit talks, and a majority think the EU has the upper hand.

Just 11 per cent of voters surveyed believe EU negotiators are “genuinely trying their best,” whilst 62 per cent instead agreed with the statement that the EU’s aim was to punish Britain for the Brexit vote in order to “stop other countries wanting to leave”.

Three-quarters of Leave voters subscribed to this view that the EU is out to punish the UK, along with just over half of Remain voters, the poll of 1,607 adults showed.

In March, before the snap general election, Lord Ashcroft polled voters asking how confident they were Theresa May and her team would be able to negotiate a good deal on a scale from zero to 100.

With zero no confidence at all, and 100 full confidence, the average was 52. Today, seven months later, it has plummeted 11 points to 41. Scores fell among both people who voted Remain (from 38 to 30) and Leave (from 66 to 54).

A Pro-European Union protester holds the Union Jack and the EU flag in central London

A Pro-European Union protester holds the Union Jack and the EU flag in central London © AFP/File Tolga AKMEN

Just last week, an EU official taunted the UK, claiming the nation will become a “colony” of the EU after 2019, after Tory Brexit secretary David Davis admitted the withdrawal agreement will “probably favour” the EU.

Furthermore, the poll found that six in 10 voters now think the EU has the upper hand in the negotiations, since a good deal for Britain could mean more countries deciding to leave.

Only just over one in five said they thought Britain had the advantage, since the rest of Europe would want to ensure they could export as much as possible to the UK once we left.

Former Tory deputy chairman and pollster Lord Ashcroft commented: “Voters are losing confidence that the government will be able to secure a good Brexit deal for Britain.

“With talks once again underway in Brussels, my research shows that both Remain and Leave voters are less sure about the prospect of a good outcome than they were before the general election.”