A third want opposition parties to negotiate Brexit as equal partners to the Conservatives and a third favour other parties brought in on for consultation-only
Today, Jeremy Corbyn is due to meet the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, to set out Labour’s vision for Brexit should the Conservative government fall and Corbyn’s party take power.
Following the results of last month’s general election the prospect of Labour negotiating Brexit has become much more realistic, and not just because the Conservatives may lose power before long. Having campaigned on the basis that a large majority would strengthen Britain’s negotiating position, the Tories’ failure to win a Commons majority prompted call from within the party to bring other parties into negotiations.
In research conducted late last month, YouGov discovered that more than two thirds (68%) of Britons want to see opposition parties included in Brexit negotiations. Opinion was split almost evenly between those who want them included on an equal basis to the Conservatives (35%), and those who think they should only be consulted (33%).
Labour voters were among the most likely to believe opposing parties should be included in the negotiations on an equal basis to the Conservatives (64%) but it was also the favoured position of almost half (48%) of Liberal Democrat voters.
The majority of Conservative voters (54%) want to see other parties included, but on a consultation basis only. Such a move would also be supported by over a third (37%) of Lib Dem voters and one in five (20%) Labour voters.
All told, only 14% of the population as a whole don't think opposition parties should not be consulted at all (rising to 26% among Conservative voters).
Which other parties should be included in the negotiations?
Among those Britons who said that other parties should be brought in to the negotiations (either as equal partners or on a consultation basis), the overwhelming majority agreed that Labour must be one of those parties. Virtually all (93%) of those who wanted other parties brought in on an equal basis as the Conservatives want Labour involved, as did eight in ten (79%) of those favouring a consultative approach.
Overall, this means that about 59% of all Britons want the Labour party to be involved in Brexit negotiations in one form or another, including 48% of all Conservative voters (although the majority of these want them involved on a consultation-only basis).
There was also strong support for bringing the Liberal Democrats into the negotiations – 68% of those who want parties included on an equal basis as the Tories picked the Lib Dems, alongside 53% of those who want to see other parties brought in on a consultation-only basis. All told, this means about 41% of the public want to see the Lib Dems having some form of input on Brexit negotiations.
Over half (55%) of those who back other parties negotiating Brexit as equal partners with the Conservatives want to see the SNP included. However, among those who want opposition parties brough in on for consultation this dropped to a third (34%).
The Leave-supporting UKIP and DUP gained more support for coming in on a consultation basis (29% and 27% respectively) than on an equal basis (18% and 24% respectively).
Photo: PA images