Support for Hard Brexit in the UK Hardens

“Significant economic damage” is a “price worth paying.” But businesses are not so sure.

 

Europhiles hoping that time might heal or at least narrow the rift separating the UK and the EU after last year’s Brexit vote are likely to be sorely disappointed by the findings of a new poll jointly conducted by Oxford University and London School of Economics.

The survey reveals that there is more support for harder Brexit options because Leavers and a substantial number of Remainers back them. The survey’s findings bolster the case for the hard-Brexit-or-nothing position favored (at least publicly) by British Prime Minister Theresa May. The alternative — a so-called “soft” Brexit — would imply having to accept full freedom of movement for all EU citizens in return for some form of privileged access to the single market. Given that regaining control of UK borders was one of the key issues that swung the referendum in Brexit’s favor, such a proposition was always unlikely to sway a majority of British voters.

This new poll, for which 3,293 people were consulted, appears to be confirmation of that. A majority of Brits, including many Remainers, largely concur that Brexit should mean the UK taking back control over its borders, leaving the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, and paying only a small “divorce bill” to the EU

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