Only 4% of voters want UK to have 'cold and distant' relationship with EU after Brexit, poll finds

Category: Political News,Politics

Only a tiny fraction of voters want the UK to have a “distant” relationship with the EU after Brexit , a new poll has found, adding fresh pressure on Theresa May to secure an agreement with Brussels. The YouGov survey for the Fabian Society found just 4 per cent of people wanted the type of relationship that would result from a no-deal Brexit . In contrast, 87 per cent want the prime minister to negotiate an agreement that would ensure a future relationship with the EU that is either “close and warm” or “practical and neutral”. Watch more The poll highlights public opposition to a no-deal outcome, which would see Britain crash out of the bloc and revert to World Trade Organisation rules. It comes with just weeks left for the government to secure an agreement with Brussels. Ms May is facing the seemingly impossible task of finding a deal that will be accepted by both the EU and her own backbenchers. Earlier this week, the DUP made clear it would vote against the deal – and possible this month’s Budget – if the prime minister agrees to any new checks on goods travelling between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Eurosceptic Tory rebels claim to have at least 40 MPs ready to vote against Ms May’s plans, while Labour is also widely expected to oppose the deal. The prime minister briefed senior cabinet ministers on Thursday night on a new amended customs backstop proposal that she hopes could break the deadlock in negotiations. left Created with Sketch. right Created with Sketch. 1/30 Rex 2/30 AFP/Getty Images 3/30 A young protestor shouts as she takes part in the People's Vote demonstration against Brexit Getty Images 4/30 Reuters 5/30 EPA 6/30 A protester's pro-EU t-shirt EPA 7/30 EPA 8/30 AFP/Getty Images 9/30 EPA 10/30 AFP/Getty 11/30 EPA 12/30 Gina Miller and Caroline Lucas EPA 13/30 EPA 14/30 EPA 15/30 Tens of thousands of people march through London EPA 16/30 EPA 17/30 Demonstrators at the People's Vote March Getty 18/30 'Two months too young to decide on my future' REUTERS 19/30 PA 20/30 A young girl joins in the march PA 21/30 An EU flag is draped across the statue of Winston Chruchill in Parliament Square REUTERS 22/30 AFP/Getty Images 23/30 Vince Cable MP, Pro-EU campaigner Gina Miller, Tony Robinson and Caroline Lucas MP join with crowds PA 24/30 PA 25/30 Crowds gather on Pall Mall PA 26/30 A man resembling Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, joins EU supporters Reuters 27/30 Reuters 28/30 People gather in Trafalgar Square REUTERS 29/30 Pro-EU campaigner Gina Miller and Tony Robinson PA 30/30 EU supporters, calling on the government to give Britons a vote on the final Brexit deal, participate in the 'People's Vote' march REUTERS 1/30 Rex 2/30 AFP/Getty Images 3/30 A young protestor shouts as she takes part in the People's Vote demonstration against Brexit Getty Images 4/30 Reuters 5/30 EPA 6/30 A protester's pro-EU t-shirt EPA 7/30 EPA 8/30 AFP/Getty Images 9/30 EPA 10/30 AFP/Getty 11/30 EPA 12/30 Gina Miller and Caroline Lucas EPA 13/30 EPA 14/30 EPA 15/30 Tens of thousands of people march through London EPA 16/30 EPA 17/30 Demonstrators at the People's Vote March Getty 18/30 'Two months too young to decide on my future' REUTERS 19/30 PA 20/30 A young girl joins in the march PA 21/30 An EU flag is draped across the statue of Winston Chruchill in Parliament Square REUTERS 22/30 AFP/Getty Images 23/30 Vince Cable MP, Pro-EU campaigner Gina Miller, Tony Robinson and Caroline Lucas MP join with crowds PA 24/30 PA 25/30 Crowds gather on Pall Mall PA 26/30 A man resembling Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, joins EU supporters Reuters 27/30 Reuters 28/30 People gather in Trafalgar Square REUTERS 29/30 Pro-EU campaigner Gina Miller and Tony Robinson PA 30/30 EU supporters, calling on the government to give Britons a vote on the final Brexit deal, participate in the 'People's Vote' march REUTERS The polling was published as part of the Fabian Society’s new report, titled Beyond Brexit. It found that 51 per cent of voters want a future relationship with the EU that is “practical and neutral”, while 36 per cent want one that is “close and warm”. Only 4 per cent want a “cold and distant” relationship. The poll also showed that the public thinks the top priority in Brexit negotiations should be controlling immigration and ending Brussels’ sovereignty over UK law. A majority of voters continue to believe that leaving the EU will have what they consider to be a positive outcome in both of these areas. However, more voters also want to keep open the option of the UK re-joining the bloc at a later date. 45 per cent said they wanted this to remain a possibility, compared to 41 per cent who did not. Andrew Harrop, general secretary of the Fabian Society said: “Politicians who wish Britain was staying in the EU still need to plan for our future outside it. This report sets the technicalities of the negotiations to one side and asks what sort of country we want to be and how we should work with the EU. “Only 4 per cent of British adults want a cold, distant relationship with Europe so Labour politicians need to prove there is an alternative to the sour divorce of the Brexiters.” Support free-thinking journalism and subscribe to Independent Minds The report includes contributions from a number of Labour MPs, including Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary. He warned that people are preoccupied with the technicalities of Brexit negotiations and have not focused enough on the underlying issues that led to the vote to leave the EU. Watch more He said: “Labour is clear that we need a final Brexit deal that protects jobs, the economy and delivers a close future relationship with the EU. “However, the details of the final deal are just one side of the Brexit process. The country will not forgive us if we do not also address the inequalities and injustices that were exposed by the referendum campaign. “For too long the urgent need to transform our economy and our politics has been drowned out by a narrow focus on the technicalities of the negotiations. We need a good Brexit deal, but we also need a radical and transformative Labour government.” The Independent has launched its #FinalSay campaign to demand that voters are given a voice on the final Brexit deal. Sign our petition here
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