Majority of Brits now regret Brexit, new poll finds - after public anger at cost of living and inflation

3 November 2022, 09:17

A majority of Brits now regret Brexit but the issue remains divisive
A majority of Brits now regret Brexit but the issue remains divisive. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

An increasingly large majority of Brits now think Brexit was a mistake, new polling suggests.

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After years of wrangling an exit deal with the EU and the ongoing Northern Ireland Protocol dispute, 57% of the country now believes leaving the bloc was an error.

A total of 43% think it was a good decision, numbers announced by Sir John Curtice, president of the British Polling Council, reveal.

Sir John said Brexit is "probably today at its lowest level of popularity since June 2016", when 52% of Brits backed leave.

He said: "Despite the fact the opposition parties - leaving aside the SNP - don't want to talk about Brexit, within the public the debate is still there.

"At the moment, it looks as though the 2016 referendum is going to be as unsuccessful as the 1975 one was in proving to be a permanent settlement of this debate.

Support for the EU has grown
Support for the EU has grown. Picture: Alamy

"We are as a country divided down the middle on this subject and it looks as though we are going to continue to be so for the foreseeable future."

Growing support for the EU was apparent when the lorry driver shortage caused chaos last year and the Government had to take measures to bolster the number of HGV operators.

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Shortages had been put down to the number of European drivers heading back to the continent.

Post-pandemic problems like the cost of living crisis, rising energy bills and inflation have further added to growing regret for Brexit – although these have been seen across Europe, too.

In other findings, Sir John said it will be "extremely difficult" for the Tories to win the next election.

"No government that has presided over a financial crisis has eventually survived at the ballot box. Voters don't forget governments being forced to do a U-turn by the financial markets," he told reporters.

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With the Tories trailing Labour by 25 points in the polls, he believes Labour has a "half decent chance" of winning a majority.

Rishi Sunak has slightly recovered from the depths the party plummeted to under Liz Truss, who spent a disastrous few weeks at No10.

The Conservatives had trailed Labour by more than 30 points under her, which could have translated to fewer than 60 seats at an election.

"I think arguably this is as bad as it ever was for a government," Sir John said.