Great Britain

Brexit: Eight in 10 UK voters believe government has handled EU talks badly, poll finds

Nearly 80 per cent of UK voters believe the government has handled Brexit negotiations badly, according to a poll.

Less than a third of Britons think the country leaving the European Union will leave them better off in five years, found the ComRes survey for BBC Radio 5 Live.

Half of those surveyed said they believe Brexit will be bad for the country, compared to just over four in 10 who expect it to have a positive impact.

Seventy-nine per cent were critical of the way Theresa May’s government has handled exit talks.

The poll is ominous for the Conservative prime minister, who also faces pressure within her party over her Brexit blueprint.

Dozens of Tory rebels are said to have openly discussed how to oust her from Downing Street during a meeting of the hard-Brexit European Research Group this week.

Ms May admitted in a BBC Panorama interview, due to air on Monday, that she gets “irritated” by the debate about her leadership of the party.

“I get a little bit irritated but this debate is not about my future, this debate is about the future of the people of the UK and the future of the United Kingdom,” she told the programme.

The prime minister’s former policy adviser this week called for her to stand down after Brexit.

George Freeman, former chair of Ms May’s Number 10 policy board, said she had done “an extraordinary job to make the best of an appalling legacy” but suggested “we need a new energy, new direction, a new generation leader to take this forward”.

As the six-month countdown to exit day approaches, the ComRes survey found 41 per cent of voters think quitting the EU will have a positive impact on the UK, compared to 50 per cent who believe it will be bad for the country.

Some 32 per cent think their own household will be better off in 2023, while 54 per cent expect to be worse off.

The EU also faced criticism over its approach to the Brexit negotiations, with 63 per cent saying it had handled talks badly.

ComRes interviewed a representative sample of 1,002 British adults between 6 and 9 September.


The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal.

Sign our petition here

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