Britons would vote to rejoin the EU

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
July 18, 2023, 8:15 AM GMT+0

‘Bregret’ stands at highest level recorded to date

With public opinion having turned against Brexit, a new YouGov survey finds that most Britons would now vote to Remain were the EU referendum being held again, and likewise would vote to rejoin the EU if such a vote were being called.

How would Britons vote if the EU referendum were taking place in 2023?

A majority of Britons (55%) say that, were the EU referendum taking place now, seven years after the original date, they would vote to Remain. Three in ten 31% say they would vote to Leave. This gives a headline voting intention of 64% to 36%.

The results show that one in six Leave voters (18%) now say that they would vote to Remain were the EU referendum being held now. Almost three quarters (73%) say they would still vote to leave the EU.

These results represent a moderate shift from January 2021, when we asked the same question. Back then, Britons said they would vote to Remain in the EU by 49% to 37%. Among Leave voters, 81% continued to say they would vote to Leave, while 9% would have changed their vote.

Would Britons vote to rejoin the EU, or stay out?

Were a new referendum called on whether or not to return to the EU, 51% of Britons would vote to rejoin, compared to 32% who would vote to stay out (giving a headline vote figure of 61% to 39%).

This is a substantial change from early 2021, at which point Britons were divided 40% against joining the EU and 42% in favour.

Back then, 8% of Leave voters would have voted to rejoin; now 18% would.

How widespread is ‘Bregret’?

Currently, 57% of Britons say that the country was wrong to vote for Brexit in 2016 – the highest figure YouGov has recorded to date. By comparison, one in three (32%) think it was the right call. One in five Leave voters (19%) now say it was the wrong decision.

Has Brexit been a success?

Nigel Farage made headlines in May when he proclaimed Brexit to have been a failure. He is one of 63% of Britons who consider Brexit to have been more of a failure than a success. Only 12% see it as more of a success, while 18% say it is neither a success nor a failure.

Seven in ten Britons (70%) say the government is handling Brexit badly, including 83% of Remain voters and 58% of Leave voters.

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