Brexit is happening, like it or not. Today, it’s not clear if the Prime Minister will fully negotiate a smooth exit from the European Union (EU). Will it be a “No-Deal” Brexit or will PM Theresa May secure a deal with the EU? The world will find out this month, but now, how do people in the United Kingdom (U.K.) think Brexit negotiations are trending? Beyond how people are feeling about the current state of Brexit negotiations, are people making any preparations ahead of the March 29 deadline?
To find this out Premise asked 200 of our Contributors in the U.K. between February 16 and February 22 to respond to an 18-question survey asking a series of questions about their opinion on Brexit negotiations, confidence in the Prime Minister’s ability to negotiate deals with the EU and other countries, and any preparations they’re making in advance of Brexit on March 29. Responses were verified through a series of automated quality control checks and manual review for authenticity, then visualized through a custom-built set of filterable charts and graphs.
Premise Contributors are nearly evenly split on the question of “No-Deal” Brexit or if the government will finalize a deal with the EU ahead of the deadline—44% to 40%, respectively (factoring in age or citizenship status doesn’t move those figures by any significant amount*). Confidence in the Prime Minister to negotiate a deal with the European Union before the deadline remains pretty high at 83% among Contributors over 45 years old, but drops to 56% for those under 34 years old.
The results don’t vary widely from recent surveys conducted by the BBC or YouGov. Beyond sentiment about Brexit—agreement or disagreement with the negotiations, confidence in the Prime Minister to secure a deal—what are people in the U.K. doing to prepare in advance of Brexit? Some of the results are understandable, others are interesting finds.
Over two-thirds report they’re not doing anything specific to prepare. Ride the wave and hold on if things get turbulent. For the other third of respondents who are making preparations for Brexit, what will they be doing over the next month?
Hoarding cash; they’re getting as many banknotes to have on-hand as possible. Stocking up on their favorite products that come from EU countries in case there’s no agreement on the customs union or other trade agreements—though some brands like Kellogg and Mondelez have been taking their own measures to ensure product shortages don’t occur.
In addition to having extra pounds under the mattress, a pantry full of Dutch beer or French wine, what are some other preparations that are happening across the U.K. before Brexit officially happens?
Premise Contributors were asked to provide insights into their pre-Brexit preparations and the responses varied from normal to surprising.
Some of the more normal preparations are stockpiling food and medications. All understandable preparations considering the current state of negotiations on the customs union. One Contributor responded that they’re staying in their current job to provide some stability during a potentially tumultuous time.
On the surprising end of the preparation-for-Brexit spectrum, Contributors responded that they are:
- Saving money to leave the U.K.—likely a Contributor who is an ex-pat or citizen of an EU nation
- A Contributor has secured a higher-paying job at £37,000 salary to be able to afford visas for travel outside the U.K.
- Buying foreign currency, including American dollars, in case there’s a negative impact on the British pound
- Stockpiling food and essentials—that isn’t too unique or surprising, but the Contributor indicated why—in case there are any issues with transit or rioting
- Securing visas now instead of dealing with different bureaucracy after Brexit
- Avoiding purchases that involve the Bank of England
- Not selling real estate properties now and waiting until after Brexit
- Contributors are changing their investment portfolios, including hedges in case of a downturn in the British economy
- A Contributor put in the time and effort to get pre-settled status ahead of Brexit
With the Brexit deadline getting closer each day, residents of the United Kingdom are wary of a “No-Deal” exit from the European Union and some are making interesting preparations in advance to make their personal transition as smooth as possible.
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*Respondents 18 – 34 years old: 43% no-deal, 39% deal; 46 – 74 years old: 50% no deal, 42% deal. Citizens of the U.K.: 44% no-deal; 44% deal; E.U. residents & expats: 41% no deal, 49% deal.
The sample for this data is a nonprobability sample rather than a random sample. Consequently, we can not say that the results of this poll are representative of the respective populations. Nevertheless, we believe this data offers numerous directional insights into residents of the United Kingdom’s intended actions and short-term perceptions.