YouGov: 47% of Britons want a ‘hard’ Brexit
• Support falls to 24% among 18-24 year olds
A new poll has shows there is widespread support for a “hard” Brexit over the “soft” version.
Forty-seven per cent of those polled by YouGov said that they would opt for the more severe version, in which Britain leaves the European single market in order to regain full control over immigration.
Only 39% said they would prefer a “soft” Brexit if faced with both options, in which Britain accepts a modified form of freedom of movement in order to remain in the single market.
The poll questioned 3,780 UK adults on 3 October.
It found that support for ‘hard’ Brexit among younger generations is incredibly low. Only 24% support “hard” Brexit, while 61% would choose a “soft: Brexit if faced with only those two options. That reflects the fact that 75% of 18-24 year olds voted to remain in the referendum.
Just 35% of Labour voters favour a hard version, while 60% of Conservative voters and 87% of UKIP voters support it.
The results come as Prime Minister Theresa May and senior cabinet ministers hinted at the party’s annual conference that the UK would opt for a ‘hard’ Brexit.
Liam Fox, UK international trade secretary, said that “it’s very clear that the public wanted an end to uncontrolled migration. That was the clear message and we have to accept that.”
That implies that we will be leaving the single market. The UK will only be able to end uncontrolled immigration if it does so, as EU officials have made very clear.
Theresa May will use her closing conference speech to make it clear that a tough immigration policy will be at the heart of her Brexit agenda, and criticise those who find concerns about immigration “parochial.”
She will pitch to “ordinary working-class people”, and attack those who “find their patriotism distasteful, their concerns about immigration parochial, their views about crime illiberal, their attachment to their job security inconvenient.”
“They find the fact that more than 17 million people voted to leave the European Union simply bewildering.”
The idea of leaving the single market does, however, face widespread opposition many senior politicians. The Conservative MP Anna Soubry said that ‘hard’ Brexit was a “bonkers” agenda pushed by MPs who are “in denial.”
Ken Clarke, another senior Conservative MP, said last week that Theresa May had “no idea” what she was doing about Brexit.
Figures from the financial sector have also made dire predictions about the impact of the proposed move. Yesterday, a group lobbying on behalf of the City of London predicted that a ‘hard’ Brexit could lose the financial industry £38 billion in the UK.
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