Britain rejects May’s suggestion that government should “get on with Brexit”

Adam McDonnellResearch Director of Political and Social Research
March 25, 2019, 2:54 PM GMT+0

If “getting on with it” means saying goodbye to the Brexit outcome they want, Britons would rather see more debate and delay

Last week Theresa May gave a defiant speech in which she claimed that people have had enough of Brexit and “just want us to get on with it”.

She’s at least partially correct: back in February we found that 60% of Brits were already bored of the long process of extricating ourselves from the EU, and it’s hard to imagine that this group has done anything but grow.

But do Brits also want Government to get on with it? Are they willing to compromise on their initially favoured option, simply to get the mess finally sorted out? In short, no.

When faced with a trade-off between getting their favoured option for Brexit - even if it means further delays and divisions - or compromising so that Brexit was sorted out, only 33% opted for the second option.

Around twice that many were happy to accept the process dragging on even longer if it meant their desired outcome was eventually achieved. So the majority only wants Government to “get on with it” if “it” is the outcome they wanted in the first place.

What is the “it” that people want? In our latest poll respondents were asked what their favoured outcome for Brexit was and, just like in the Commons, there was no majority for any option: 42% want to Remain in the EU, 23% want to leave with No Deal, 9% back May’s deal and 13% would prefer an alternative deal.

While overall the public reject the notion of “getting on with” Brexit, there are differing levels of support depending on a person’s desired outcome. Perhaps unsurprisingly, those who favour May’s deal or an alternative deal are the most likely to agree with her message of getting on with it (58% and 59% respectively) as the “it” would likely be near to their preferred option.

Those who want Britain to leave the EU with No Deal disagree - by 57% to 36% this group want a No Deal Brexit by any means necessary.

Unsurprisingly, the group least willing of all to compromise are Remainers, 77% of whom say they think every effort should be made to remain in the EU, even if it causes further divisions and delays.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here

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