One in five who voted for Brexit now think it was the wrong decision

Peter RavenData Journalist
November 17, 2022, 9:17 AM GMT+0

The wider public now think Britain was wrong to leave the European Union by 56% to 32%

Almost two years since Britain left the EU on 31 December 2020, YouGov data shows support for Brexit is at a record low, with only 32% of the British public saying it was right to vote to leave and 56% saying it was wrong to leave.

YouGov has been regularly asking the public whether they think it was right or wrong to have voted to leave the EU since shortly after the 2016 referendum. Early polling revealed that more people believed that Brexit was the right decision than not up until the 2017 general election.

Since then, with the exception of very brief periods in April 2020 and April 2021, public opinion has swung in the other direction and the latest results show the gap is at its largest yet, with those who think it was wrong to leave 24 points ahead of people saying it was right.

How do Brexiteers feel six years after voting Leave?

This month, former environment secretary George Eustice told a Commons debate that the post-Brexit trade deal with Australia was “not actually a very good deal” for Britain and Simon Wolfson, the Brexit-backing chief executive of retailer Next, urged the government to make it easier to allow foreign workers into the country saying this is “not the Brexit I wanted”. But how do Brexiteers feel six years down the line?

Following the 2017 general election the percentage of Brexiteers who believed voting to leave the EU was the right decision fell from 90% to around 80%, briefly rising to the high 80s after the withdrawal agreement was ratified in January 2020. However, since June 2021, that percentage has fallen from 88% down to a record low of 70%, while those who believe it to be the wrong thing to do has risen from 4% to an all-time high of 19%.

Remain voters, however, are more likely to have stood by their decision, with 91% still believing it to be the wrong move to leave the EU and just 5% who believe it to be the right call to leave. With the exception of the brief dip to 80% believing it to be the wrong decision in April 2021 when the EU’s Covid vaccine rollout trailed that of the UK’s, the percentage has remained at the high-80s to 90% mark since 2016.

See the full results here and here

Photo: Getty

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