Most polled want the UK to become free of EU judges and full border control
Two thirds said they would prefer 'no deal' rather than a soft Brexit, poll found
Findings boost for Theresa May who says no deal is better than a bad deal
Published: 12:49 EDT, 11 August 2017 | Updated: 09:27 EDT, 21 December 2017
Many of those who voted to stay in the European Union also now believe the country should only pay a small ‘divorce bill’ and stop EU judges ruling over the UK.
The results are a major boost for Theresa May’s Brexit stategy - and suggest diehard Remainers, such as Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable and former prime minister Tony Blair, have overestimated support for backtracking on Brexit.
Brexit Secretary David Davis, pictured in Brussels last month with the EU negotiator Michel Barnier, is leading Britain's Brexit talks. A new survey reveals that most Brits - including many Remainers - back the government's plans for a hard Brexit
The survey of 3,293 people by the London School of Economics (LSE) and Oxford University found that when questioned in detail about their views, many favoured the elements of a so-called ‘hard Brexit’.
Of those who voted Remain, when given the choice of the two options, 53 per cent preferred a ‘hard’ to a ‘soft’ Brexit - suggesting they do not want continued single market membership, ongoing payments to Brussels, free movement, and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).
When offered the choice between a ‘hard’ Brexit and leaving without a deal, 59 per cent of Remain voters opted for the former option.
Remain voters only preferred a ‘soft’ Brexit when offered a straight choice between that and no deal, with 58 per cent backing it.
Of all respondents, more than two-thirds (67 per cent) preferred the idea of leaving the EU without a deal to a ‘soft’ Brexit when given the choice of the two options, while 68 per cent opted for ‘hard’ over ‘soft’ Brexit.
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Among Leave voters, an overwhelming majority - 85 per cent - preferred a ‘hard’ exit to a ‘soft’ exit, and 81 per cent preferred no deal to a ‘hard’ Brexit.
LSE associate professor in political behaviour Thomas Leeper, who co-authored the report, said the results indicated that the public was more ‘eurosceptic’ than many thought.
‘When offered the choice between a soft, a hard Brexit and no deal, a majority of people preferred the harder alternative,’ he said.
‘The only exception was when Remain voters opted for a soft Brexit over no deal. In every other scenario, a harder Brexit is preferred to a soft one.
‘The results suggest Remain voters are not as opposed to some of the harder Brexit positions as might be expected.
‘Even Remain voters are not that favourable towards certain aspects of EU membership. While they tend to be more favourable towards immigration and rights of EU citizens.
‘The bulk of British people feel slightly more Eurosceptic than you might typically believe.’
The results will make unhappy reading for those who favour a second referendum on Britain’s EU membership, or who wish to form a new party of Remain backers.
The findings are a boost for Theresa May - pictured outside Downing Street last month - who has repeatedly said that no deal on Brexit is better than a bad ddeal
Asked whether these campaigners had overestimated their support, Associate Prof Leeper said: ‘Those calling for a second referendum are missing the complexities of the British public.’
The research also found that those who voted to Remain were more likely to acknowledge that their preferred options were not compatible with respecting the referendum result.
Brexit has been a difficult subject to poll as the public struggle to differentiate between the different, and sometimes incompatible, options.
Surveys have showed that most of the public support free trade with the EU after Brexit - but a majority also back border controls, which is a contradictory position.
The academics offered choices between what a ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ Brexit and no deal would mean in practice, avoiding any emotional attachment to the labels themselves.
Their results showed there was not much evidence that either Remain or Leave backers had changed their mind about the result.
Remain voters also showed a tendency to accept that the options they favoured did not honour the result of last year’s EU referendum.
Labour, SNP, Plaid Cymru, and Lib Dem voters all prefer a ‘soft’ Brexit to leaving without a deal, although generally only by about 60 to 40 per cent.
But Conservative and UKIP voters overwhelmingly prefer a no-deal scenario to a ‘soft’ Brexit.
The issue of EU citizens’ rights after Brexit was found to be the most divisive in the poll, with Remain voters strongly supporting those already in the UK staying indefinitely - something Leavers strongly oppose.
On immigration, neither group supports continuing free movement, although Remain voters feel less strongly about the issue than Leavers.
The most popular scenarios for both voters give the UK full control over its borders, with Remainers supporting immigration but Leavers favouring few to no arrivals.
Neither Leave nor Remain voters want to remain under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice following Brexit.
The public does not have strong views on the Irish border and neither Leavers nor Remainers are particularly against ongoing payments to the EU for future trade deals.
Neither side wants to pay a large divorce bill. The most popular option was no payment at all.
The public is also not bothered by Britain taking longer to leave the EU than has been suggested.
The polling shows that Remain campaigners are wrong to claim that the Prime Minister is wrong to pursue a proper break from the EU.
Last month Mr Blair claimed it is ‘possible now that Brexit doesn’t happen’ as ‘public opinion is moving’.
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4782712/Most-Brits-hard-Brexit-new-survey-finds.html