Britons less likely to see a no-deal Brexit as a realistic prospect

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
September 19, 2019, 8:01 AM GMT+0

It is still the Brexit outcome the highest number of Britons think could still happen, however

Following a string of government defeats in Parliament, Britons are now less likely to think that a no-deal Brexit is a realistic prospect, according to the latest results of a new YouGov tracker.

While 72% of Britons considered leaving the EU without a deal to be a realistic prospect at the beginning of the month, this figure has since fallen to 65%. Among Remainers, belief that such an outcome could take place has fallen from 75% to 62%, although the fall among Leave voters has been more modest with just a four point decline to 77%.

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A no-deal Brexit is, however, still the Brexit outcome that the highest number of Britons see as still plausible. That being said, Britons are now about as likely to believe that the date of Brexit being delayed until after 31 October is a realistic possibility (these two scenarios are of course not mutually exclusive). There has been an eight percentage point increase in the number of Britons who think this could happen, from 56% to 64%. Leave voters especially are now more likely to think a delay is feasible, rising from 47% to 60%.

The decline in expectations that a no-deal Brexit could take place is coupled with raised expectations that any of the other resolutions to the conundrum could happen. Almost half of Britons (48%) now believe that a softer Brexit deal is a realistic prospect (from 43%), while 44% think a second referendum is plausible (from 37%). Similarly 42% now think remaining in the EU after all is a distinct possibility (up from 34%) – it is worth noting that the fieldwork for the survey was conducted prior to the Lib Dems’ announcement that they would keep Britain in the EU without a referendum should they win a majority at a general election.

Even belief that Theresa May’s deal might be the basis on which we leave the EU has increased, with 28% now seeing it as a realistic prospect compared to 20% at the start of the month.

Aside from no-deal, the only Brexit outcome Britons are no more likely to see as realistic is the EU agreeing to the kind of deal that Boris Johnson says he wants. While 38% of Brits saw this as realistic at the start of September, this figure is essentially unchanged at 37% as of this weekend. This is doubtless because Britons don’t believe the government is any closer to agreeing such a deal with the EU – a YouGov survey last week found that the majority of people believed zero progress towards this goal had been made.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here

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