A year ago, Brexit was an idea still six weeks in the future and Premise asked 200 contributors their thoughts on the negotiations at the time, their confidence in the Prime Minister to deliver a Deal Brexit as well as other questions in advance of the March 29 deadline.
The British people were facing an uncertain future with the prospect of divorcing the European Union without secured deals ensuring orderly cross-border sales of goods and services, plus looming negotiations with sovereign states around the world as a newly independent United Kingdom. Surprisingly over three-quarters of respondents were making preparations ahead of Brexit, like stocking up on their favorite French wine and Dutch cheeses.
Now we know Brexit didn’t happen, deal or no deal, on March 29. It took an additional ten months, a new Prime Minister, a general election and countless delay agreements with the EU Council for Brexit to finally happen. We also know most people didn’t make any preparations for the final Brexit–could it be that so many previous failed Brexit attempts made people numb to the final event?
From February 4 to 9 this year, Premise surveyed 758 Contributors across the United Kingdom for their opinions on Brexit, their outlook on an independent Britain making its way forward, and thoughts on possible Scottish independence. Here’s what we discovered.
How do the British feel about Brexit?
There is widespread sentiment from Premise’s contributors that the United Kingdom should still be an EU member state—a small minority of 9% stated they believe the UK is better off outside the European Union—but 1 in 5 believe the future of Britain won’t be determined by its relationship with the EU.
Nearly evenly split is the sentiment on immigration from EU-member states going forward. Though 45% of our respondents believe immigration from the EU should be decreased, nearly equal percentages of contributors believe immigration levels should be increased or remain the same.
Any slowdown in the UK economy is not having widespread negative impacts on the daily lives of Premise contributors, in fact one-in-four believe they’re personally feeling positive benefits from any slowdown! A further 60% aren’t feeling an impact either way and only 7% are feeling negative effects. It’s an interesting find that will become more apparent as the Brexit dust settles throughout the year.
During the Brexit campaign, those advocating for leaving the EU, including the now Prime Minister Boris Johnson, claimed the National Health Service (NHS) will receive an additional £350 million per week after Brexit, and 52% of Premise contributors believe those claims made by the pro-Brexit spokespeople. If the NHS doesn’t receive funding, the Government should pay notice because Premise contributors in the UK are planning to vote in the next General Election in overwhelming numbers—84% are ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to cast a ballot!
What about an independent Scotland?
Most Premise contributors don’t seem to care all that much—nearly 75% don’t have much of an opinion—though 46% support the Prime Minister’s refusal to hold a referendum on Scottish independence right now.
What about trade with the EU?
Time will tell what the future of trade looks like for Britain and the EU. Premise contributors overwhelmingly 64% approve of reciprocal trade deals granting access to markets in Britain for EU companies with similar access for British companies in the EU. A bit less clear is a consensus regarding access to British coastal waters for EU fishing boats; nearly a quarter of contributors felt the issue is either ‘somewhat’ or ‘very important’, however, 70% don’t care either way. More likely it’s an indication that EU boats in UK coastal waters is not an issue keeping the British public awake at night and perhaps policy makers should instead focus on securing deals that will allow for free movement of goods across the Channel.
Now that Brexit has happened, Premise contributors in the United Kingdom are hopeful for more NHS funding, open to fair trade deals with the EU and hopeful for their future as a new fully-independent state. With these desires from the British people, much is left to policy makers and Members of Parliament to meet those demands or risk blowback in the next General Election.
If you would like to learn more about how Premise can understand the opinions, behavior and knowledge of local citizens check out our Sentiment & Surveys solution or if you’re interested in learning more about our capabilities in the UK email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.