Theresa May would be to blame for ‘no deal’ Brexit, say voters

By agency reporter
August 16, 2018

Voters would blame Theresa May’s government if the UK emerged from Brexit talks with no deal, according to BMG Research polling for Left Foot Forward. 
The findings come as Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt met Latvia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs on 15 August 2018 – with the latter pinning the chances of a no deal Brexit at 50-50.
Of those with a view, 41 per cent of the British public would see Theresa May and the government’s negotiating team as responsible in the event of a ‘no deal’ outcome.
That compares to under a quarter (23 per cent) of people who would blame the European Union – suggesting the Prime Minister will take the hit, rather than hard-line EU negotiators, if the EU was forced into World Trade Organisation terms after Brexit in March 2019.
  Of those polled, 15 per cent said Brexit-backing Tory MPs would be most responsible for no deal, while just eight per cent would blame Remain-supporting Conservative rebels.
Voters appear to believe Labour and the opposition parties hold little sway over Brexit, with just six per cent of those with a view saying they would be responsible for a no deal Brexit.
Leavers are split: 36 per cent of Leave voters with a view would hold Theresa May’s government responsible for a no deal outcome – compared to 36 per cent holding the EU responsible, while 41 per cent of Remainers would blame the Prime Minister, with just 17 per cent blaming the EU.
The figures are also divided by party, with 26 per cent of Conservatives with a view blaming May’s government for a no deal outcome, compared to 41 per cent holding the EU responsible; 51 per cent of Labour backers would blame Theresa May, to just 13 per cent believing the EU to be at fault.
The findings come amid plans to stockpile goods in preparation for high tariffs and delays following a no deal outcome next March.
Josiah Mortimer, Editor of Left Foot Forward, said:  “Just this week, Jeremy Hunt said the prospect of ‘no deal’ was increasing, while 'everyone needs to prepare'. It appears the government needs to prepare for the hit they’ll take if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
“Voters are clear that the blame would lie at Theresa May’s door if we were forced out onto WTO terms. Price rises, food shortages and travel chaos would dramatically destabilise not just the country but this minority government, too.
“If Mrs May believes she can use the EU as a scapegoat for failure in these talks, she may have to think again. With even Leave voters divided on this, a no deal outcome is set to be a disaster – for the Conservative party. The government will need to ramp up these negotiations before October if they are to avert a hard Brexit bludgeoning from voters.
“This poll is yet another sign that a reckless departure from the EU would raise the prospects of a leadership challenge – and a fresh election.”

*Left Foot Forward is a progressive news and comment website, founded in 2009 by Will Straw. It focuses on evidence-based progressive journalism


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