Survey finds Remain would win second Brexit referendum

Seven out of ten people in Edinburgh think the UK would be better off economically in Europe and want the country to stay in the Single Market.

Sunday, 22nd April 2018, 19:06 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd April 2018, 19:14 pm
A new Brexit poll has shown Britain would narrowly vote to stay in the EU if a new referendum was held next week.. Picture: PA Wire

A new Brexit survey shows 71 per cent of Evening News readers believe Britain will be better off economically inside Europe. And 72 per cent said Britain should continue to be part of the single European market.

It is part of a bigger survey of almost 220,000 readers of Johnston Press, Newsquest and Trinity Mirror websites, which found Leave voters are more likely than Remain voters to have changed their minds since the 2016 referendum, meaning Remain could potentially come out ahead if another referendum was held.

In Edinburgh, 75 per cent of those surveyed on the site said they were not happy with the state of the Brexit negotiations, with just 12 per cent saying they were happy and the rest not sure.

And here, as across the country, voters - regardless of which side they took in the referendum - were more likely to be unhappy than happy with the way negotiations are going.

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Among Edinburgh voters, 51 per cent of those who said they voted Leave were unhappy compared to 29 per cent who were happy. Some 82 per cent of those who voted Remain said they were unhappy, compared to seven per cent who said they were happy.

The Capital’s Remain voters are, unsurprisingly, much more likely to think continuing close ties with Europe is a good idea, with 89 per cent saying Britain is better off economically inside Europe and 86 per cent saying we should continue to be part of the Single Market.

Among Leave voters, 16 per cent think Britain is better off economically in Europe, and 26 per cent think we should continue to be part of the Single Market.

However, most of those surveyed said they would still stick with how they voted - 81 per cent of Leave voters and 93 per cent of Remain voters said they would do the same again.

Leave voters were more likely to say they would not vote in the same way now, with 13 per cent of Leave voters saying they would act differently compared to four per cent of Remain voters.

Nationally, six per cent of those surveyed said they would not vote the same way, and another six per cent said they were not sure. However, Leave voters were twice as likely to say they would change their vote as Remain voters - eight per cent to four per cent.

The gap potentially means Remain could win if another referendum was held now.

If the proportions of those who were still happy with their vote combined with those who would not vote in the same way as last time, assuming that they would swap from Leave to Remain and vice versa, were applied to the total number of votes from the referendum, it would suggest a narrow Remain lead of 51 per cent to 49 per cent.

However, the proportion of voters who are now not sure how they would vote was bigger than the gap between Leave and Remain, meaning the very close outcome could still go to Leave.

SNP Europe spokesman Stephen Gethins said the survey showed opposition to a “cliff edge” Brexit.

He said: “This shows hardening opposition across Scotland to the Tories’ hard Brexit shambles, even among Leave voters. The UK government must listen and change course before they really take us to the cliff edge.

“They can no longer continue being deaf to the growing chorus of calls to protect jobs, investment and living standards – we should remain in the customs union and the European single market, which is around eight times bigger than the UK’s alone.”

Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said yesterday Labour’s policy of negotiating continued membership of a customs union with the EU after Brexit was the only way to protect trade and avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland.

She said: “There is nowhere else we can go than to stay in a customs union with the European Union. Nothing else makes sense.”

Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray, co-chair of the Scottish Labour for the Single Market campaign, said the findings were “hugely significant” and should serve as a “wake-up call to Scottish Labour and the UK leadership”.

He said: “More than two-thirds of voters want the UK to remain in the single market because they know 80,000 jobs in Scotland depend on it, it delivers hard-won rights for hundreds of thousands of workers, and is the only way to prevent a hard border with Ireland.

“There is no such thing as a good Brexit, but the least-worst option for our economy and for jobs is permanent membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union.”

Scottish Labour Brexit spokesman Neil Findlay MSP said: “The Tories handling of Brexit has been nothing short of shambolic.

“The Tories are incapable of delivering a Brexit that is good for Scotland or working people across Britain, with some jobs already under threat or lost due to their ignorant mishandling of the situation.

“That is why Labour wants to see a strong and close ongoing relationship with the EU including a new permanent customs union, which protects tariff free trade and the Good Friday Agreement.”

The study, run in partnership with Google Surveys, was completed online by 2000 people who visited the Evening News website.

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