The polling evidence confirms that a broad majority of the UK public now accepts the urgent necessity of transition extension in a world transformed by the pandemic, and that this Majority now includes a large section of Conservative and Leave voters.
- Majority of Britons back Brexit extension to help beat coronavirus. New research by the Health Foundation and Ipsos Mori found that more than half of Britons now support an extension to the Brexit transition period this year with this rising to two-thirds of people when potential shortages of medical supplies are factored in. Independent, 13 June 2020
- See also Majority of Britons support Brexit transition extension, survey finds, The Guardian, 13 June 2020
- Mark Lazarowicz, Chair, The European Movement in Scotland, former
Labour MP for Edinburgh North and Leith from 2001 to 2015.
“There is no need for this damaging double whammy. Polling points to the fact
that 77 per cent of British people (83 per cent of those in Scotland) want a
breathing space. They want the UK to ask for an extension to the transition
period – but the UK Government continues to rush towards the cliff edge.
At the very least we deserve this folly to be debated in Parliament.. A public
debate is vital, ensuring that the Opposition can challenge this situation,
exposing it for what it is and the damage it will inevitably lead to.”
- Focaldata Opinion Poll for Best for Britain and HOPE not hate, 17 May 2020: “Three-quarters of those asked said they would prefer that “A UK-EU trade
deal comes into force after the transition period”, as opposed to “The UK exits
with no EU trade deal”. This includes 64 per cent of Conservative voters and
57 per cent of Leave voters, and is strongly supported across all age groups and
And with the crisis threatening a second wave of infections as nations around
the world begin easing their lockdown restrictions, a majority of the public
(59%) now expect the transition period to be extended in order for the
Government to fulfil their promise to deliver that trade deal….
The poll found that 42% of Conservative and Leave voters now expect the
transition period to be extended.”
- Focaldata Opinion Poll for Best for Britain and HOPE not hate, 20 April 2020: “The survey of over 2,000 people found that 66 per cent of the public believe
the UK government ‘should focus 100% of its energy on dealing with
coronavirus for the rest of the year’, including nearly half of Conservative and
Leave voters. Of those who support an extension, 64 per cent want the transition period to be extended ‘indefinitely until the crisis is resolved’.”
“Our new poll, commissioned alongside our partners at HOPE not hate, finds
that the general public overwhelmingly support extending the transition period.
Two-thirds of respondents said they thought the government ‘should focus
100% of its energy on dealing with Coronavirus for the rest of the year’,
whereas only a third (34%) thought the UK government could ‘balance dealing
with the Coronavirus outbreak whilst also giving necessary time to negotiate a
full trade deal with the EU before the end of the year.’ There was agreement
among all age groups and UK regions. Of those who supported an extension,
64 per cent wanted the transition period to be extended ‘indefinitely until the
crisis is resolved’, whereas 36 per cent wanted the transition period to be
extended ‘for a maximum of a year.’
While some have speculated that the government’s position on extension owes
to a fear it will be punished for failing to deliver on its manifesto pledge not to
delay Brexit, our data suggests this is not the case.
With some high-profile Brexit supporters conceding the need for an extension,
our data indicates that the government has support for extending the transition
period among small ‘c’ conservative voters.
•48% of Conservative voters
•45% of Brexit Party voters
•49% of Leave voters
Of those who supported an extension there was strong support for a longer
•44% of Conservative voters
•27% of Brexit Party voters
•43% of Leave voters”
- Focaldata Opinion Poll for Best for Britain and HOPE not hate, 29 March 2020: “Two-thirds of Brits (64%) said they agreed with the statement ‘The
government should request an extension to the transition period in order to
focus properly on the Coronavirus’, whereas a third (36%) agreed with the
statement ‘The Brexit transition period must end on 31 December whether a
deal has been fixed or not’. While this was broken down into predictable support from those who voted for Labour (84%) and the Lib Dems (83%) at the last election, the first statement was also supported by nearly half of those who voted Conservative (44%) and a fifth of Brexit Party voters (19%).”