Our latest poll, run by YouGov, has revealed exactly how the public view the actions of PM Theresa May, David Davis (Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union) and Boris Johnson (Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs ), as they work to negotiate the UK’s exit from the EU.
Participants were asked if they believed the actions of these key Brexit figures were motivated by personal political, or party political interests. Or if they believed these individuals were solely motivated by the best interests of the country as a whole.
The results should make uncomfortable reading for the Government, with half of all voters believing Boris Johnson’s approach to Brexit is motivated primarily by concern for the his own interests, while less than a quarter of the 1602 people questioned (23%) think Prime Minister Theresa May’s views are primarily motivated by concern for the national interest.
Even amongst Conservative voters, there was a distinct lack of trust, with less than half (48%) of Conservative voters convinced that Mrs May’s views are driven primarily by the national interest, and with around one-third thinking the same for Boris Johnson (33%) and David Davis (30%).
In what might be a sign of the impact of Conservative party divisions over Brexit dividing Conservative supporters in the country, even 40% of Tory voters say they think Mr Johnson’s views on Brexit are driven principally by considerations of personal interest.
Commenting on the findings, Best for Britain’s CEO Eloise Todd said:
“Boris Johnson’s antics over Brexit impress nobody. Yet it is his escalating and ever more immoderate demands on the Prime Minister that are setting the tone of the UK’s Brexit negotiations.
“We are being driven towards isolation to satisfy Mr Johnson’s need to appeal to extreme anti-Europeans in Conservative ranks. That is why we must have the option to say ‘no’ to whatever deal Tory ministers sign up to in Brussels and instead be able to make a real choice, including having the option of staying in a reforming European Union.
“No Brexit is better than a bad Brexit. And a Brexit designed to deliver for Boris Johnson at the expense of jobs, prosperity and opportunities would be the worst sort of all.”
The polling data also shows that voters have a flexible and pragmatic view on freedom of movement issues, and appear willing to back its continuation if the right to move in search of work is balanced by the responsibility to leave if no job is found.
The poll shows slightly more Conservative voters (69%) support freedom of movement under such terms than voters as a whole (64%). Less than a quarter (24%) of Conservative voters oppose freedom of movement under such an approach.
Eloise Todd commented:
“The British government has the powers to restrict freedom of movement in this way already, it does not require any new European law or treaty change. These figures show that freedom of movement is not a deal breaker when it comes to the UK staying in a reforming and modernising EU: if that is what people decide is a better option than accepting whatever deal the Tories sign up to.
“Ministers have no right to dictate to the people over issues like this. We and our elected representatives should have the final say on a choice between the terms they agree and the best offer we can get for continued EU membership.”
And our research has already made the news, with key findings quoted in the following articles on the Evening Standard website:
Want to find out more? You can view the results in full here.