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Analysis

South West shifts against Brexit and for People’s Vote

by Luke Lythgoe | 09.08.2018

New polling by the People’s Vote campaign has exposed deep concerns about Brexit in the South West of England, where 52.6 % voted to Leave in 2016. If a referendum on EU membership were held now, there would be a narrow majority for Remain – by 51 to 49 %.

The YouGov poll, surveying 1,000 people living in the South West, is the first significant test of public opinion in the region since the 2016 referendum. Here are a few of the most interesting findings.

A People’s Vote is backed by a clear margin

Voters want a say on whatever final Brexit deal Theresa May negotiates by a clear margin of 42% to 35%. Support for a People’s Vote shoots up in the context of talks breaking down and the UK being faced with a no-deal Brexit: 47% in favour, just 27% against.

Young people and women are most against Brexit

As you’d expect, young people are most likely to vote Remain if there was a referendum on EU membership today – 86% of 18-24 year olds want to stay. Compare that to just 35% of over 65s who would vote Remain if they had their chance again

There’s also a split between how men and women feel about Brexit. 54% of women in the South West would now vote to stay in the EU, compared with 49% of men.

What people want on immigration is achievable within the EU

55% of people surveyed agreed with an immigration position whereby “people from the EU should be free to come to Britain as long as they have a job to come to, or have a place at a British university”.

The good news for those people is that we can already do that as EU members. Many EU countries, Belgium being the most commonly cited example, requires citizens from other EU states to register with local authorities when they arrive and use powers under EU law to remove them if they don’t have a job or some other way of sustaining themselves.

Demand a vote on the final Brexit deal

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People care a lot about local food

The survey found that people in the South West, a region famous for its agriculture, were keen to see their local produce protected from foreign competition. 62% of people thought it was important that EU rules protecting the status of West Country beef and lamb should be preserved; 53% wanted clotted cream, cider and cheese to stay protected; and 43% were keen to see Cornish pasties only being made in Cornwall. Leaving the EU puts the protected status of all this classic West Country grub at risk.

A fishy business

We hear lots from Brexiters about “taking back control of our fishing waters”. But you can catch all the fish in the world and you’re still not going to make a living if you can’t sell it. Overwhelmingly, our fish exports go to the EU. By leaving the single market and customs union, as Theresa May wants, that becomes harder. What do people in the South West think about that? Well, 74% think the “ability of the region’s fishing fleets to sell fish to other EU countries as easily as they do today” is important.

As it becomes clearer what May’s botched Brexit means, it isn’t looking likely to deliver what the public actually want. They should get the chance to say so. They deserve a People’s Vote.

Edited by Quentin Peel

5 Responses to “South West shifts against Brexit and for People’s Vote”

  • Infacts has been very informative over the last couple of years but, really, you are preaching to the converted. You need to find some way of reaching the 17-1/2 million who voted to leave. – and convert them.

    Leaving will be very sad, leaving without a deal is terrifying. For heavens’ sake, tear up Article 50 and stay in the EU. Yes, it will cause mayhem, but that will die down eventually, given a strong (!) leader, even more so when the machinations fo the Johnsons, Goves and Moggs are revealed.

    Ask yoursef why 27 member states are not gagging to follow our lead ? Hmmmm?

  • Yes, surely this must be one of THE KEY questions, as John Morrison has indicated, how to get all the information compiled by INFACTS over the period out to the general public in the UK.
    It is now absolutely clear to me that apart from Brexiteers who are Brexiteers for idealogical ( or purely nationalistic reasons ) , that is for no real rational reasons at all, the remaining opposition to the EU is based simply on pure ignorance.

    The task of eliminating this ignorance must surely be the priority task for the coming months. I have seen no single reason advanced for leaving the EU which makes any sense at all. We must now find ways to bring this information to the general public

  • People everywhere are at last cottoning on to the fact that the whole country has been the victim of one of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated upon a whole nation.

  • John Morrison wonders why “why 27 member states are not gagging to follow our lead ?”

    There are several possible reasons, e.g. (1) most of the 27 Member States are net recipients of EU funding – the UK isn’t one of them (2) Many member States benefit significantly from EU membership – the UK doesn’t and (3) Many Member States are following closely what happens to the UK. They know they are not powerful enough to negotiate a reasonable exit from the bullying EU on their own.

    To support the first two points, consider the following. The EU was introduced in 1993. In the 25 years before 1993, UK GDP growth averaged 2.4% per annum. In the 25 years since 1993 it has averaged 2.2% per annum. That, in itself, shows there was no has been no obvious economic boost for the UK from EU membership, but it’s actually worse than that. If we look at per Capita (per head of population) growth we have 2.2% before 1993 and 1.6% since 1993.

    As the UK has become more entrenched in the EU our trade deficit with them has grown to a massive £80 billion a year. This sucks demand out of the economy on a huge scale. For these “benefits” we make an annual contribution of around £10 billion a year which is due to be increased significantly if we remain.

    The UK is a service-based economy. The single market is incomplete in several sectors but is virtually non-existent in Services (Read OECD and EU own reports) . EU Tariffs and Trade deals are of questionable benefit to the UK since most are formulated to protect EU agriculture and promote EU manufacturing. The UK will be able to source food far more cheaply from developing economies if we are free to reduce tariffs. There are so many reason to leave it’s not possible to list them all here.

  • David Quinn suggests it is the Brexiteers that are the idealogues!!!!!

    Surely it is the remainers who are driven by idealism. They do not want to acknowledge the many problems created by a bureaucratic centralised and undemocratic EU executive. They seem to hate the nation state and therefore sovereign democracy. They seem to forget that this country probably had the best democratic system in the world (and hopefully will again in the near future). They seem to be scared of our politicians and business leaders having to be accountable and being responsible for making a success outside the EU. Altogether I have come to the conclusion that they do not even like their own country and more importantly their fellow (brexiteer inclined) citizens. Believe me we will do ok outside the EU as long as we collectively believe we can.