A new poll by Survation has revealed that the British public overwhelmingly prioritise free trade with the EU post Brexit over controls over who is allowed to live and work in the UK.
58% agreed with the statement“it is more important for the UK government to make sure companies in the UK can trade freely with companies in the EU after Brexit than to make it harder for people from EU countries to come to live and work in the UK” whilst 28% felt the opposite with 14% unsure.
55% said that tariffs on UK businesses seeking access to the single market was an unacceptable term of a final Brexit, whilst compared to 37% who said freedom of movement would be unacceptable.
Given these results, it might be accurate to say the public desires a Norway style Brexit despite many Brexiteers saying that a Brexit that does not involve leaving the single market and the customs union does not fulfil what the public voted for.
The public also backs a referendum on the final Brexit deal by 45-37.
The Conservative Party remained committed to ending freedom of movement and desire a free trade agreement with the EU, though many believe these 2 positions are incompatible.
A No Deal Brexit would see large tariffs put on businesses trading with Europe, the Treasury estimates this would cost the economy £252bn over 15 years and the Chancellor said the government would be forced to borrow £80bn more a year should the UK crash out without a deal.
Analysis from Iwan Doherty- Editor in Chief
These polling numbers only add to the argument that those who voted Brexit did not understand the economic consequences of leaving the European Union. A free trade agreement with the EU might be achieved but is unlikely. For such a large proportion of voters to say tariffs are unacceptable shows that either the tide has turned to Remain dramatically or the public is still misinformed on the realities of a Hard Brexit, and that tariffs on some goods are likely.
These statistics might be of use to those wanting a Norway style Brexit but also add support to the campaign for a People’s Vote on the terms of Brexit.