Blog: Huge surge in support for Brexit as hopeful Brits turns against vengeful EU – Express

The transformation in attitudes uncovered by Ipsos Mori will strengthen Boris Johnson, with an overwhelming majority of Conservatives optimistic about the future. Today’s positive polling comes in the wake of the successful roll-out of the vaccination programme and a series of aggressive moves by the EU, such as threats to curtail vaccine exports, which may have heightened euroscepticism. 

Back in October, only 18 percent of people thought Great Britain was going in the right direction, with 53 percent saying it was going the wrong way. But optimists have now taken the lead for the first time since April 2020, with 41 percent saying we are heading the right way and just 36 percent thinking we are travelling in the wrong direction.

With May’s council, mayoral and devolved elections looming, the prime minister will be delighted 73 percent of people who voted Conservative in 2019 think things are going in the “right direction”.

The polling also reveals major changes in attitudes to Brexit.

In June last year, just 27 percent of people said leaving the EU has had a positive impact on the country, with 40% saying it was negative. The most recent polling, carried out between March 26-29, shows those who believe Brexit has been positive have a slight edge – 39 percent versus 38 percent – following an eight-point surge in positive sentiment on the previous month.

Keiran Pedley, Ipsos Mori’s director of politics, said: “As lockdown restrictions start to ease, there is clearly more optimism about the future amongst the British public.

Meanwhile, it is striking how we have witnessed such a sharp increase in positive sentiment towards Brexit in just a month. Whilst this data cannot directly link such an increase to the vaccine rollout and related rows between the UK and the EU, it would be a surprise if this wasn’t playing a part in this shift in sentiment.”

The research shows people who voted Remain in 2016 and for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party in 2019 are much gloomier about Britain’s future. Six out of 10 Labour voters and 57 percent of Remain voters say we are going in the wrong direction.

However, the Government will hope that post-Brexit optimism will climb even higher as new trading opportunities are unlocked.

Key coastal communities will welcome a breakthrough which should boost shellfish exports to the EU.

The waters around Kent, Essex, Devon, Cornwall and Northumberland will all receive an upgraded “class A” rating over the coming months, meaning that shellfish harvested from these areas will be deemed safe enough for direct human consumption and will not have to undergo further purification treatments.

There was anger earlier this year when the European Commission banned the import of live, untreated shellfish from class B waters.  

A Government source said: “The UK is a world leader in environmental and health standards, and we take our responsibilities on food exports extremely seriously.

While the EU effectively changed the law without any scientific basis to block the long-standing and historic trade in shellfish, more produce from UK waters will now be eligible for export to the EU again – reclaiming business for British fishermen and boosting this iconic industry.”

International trade secretary Liz Truss looked ahead to a “new era” of jobs and opportunity with Britain championing trading opportunities on the global stage.

She said: “We are delivering on the promise of Brexit by securing unparalleled opportunities overseas which will help us build back better. [Last] week, I was proud to chair the first meeting of the G7’s inaugural trade track, which brings together like-minded democracies who are determined to herald a new era rich in jobs, opportunity and prosperity for our people.

“Through four new trade hubs across the country, we will ensure the benefits of free and fair trade are brought home to every region and nation of the UK. Just as free trade made Britain great in the 19th century, it can make our nation greater still in the 21st century as we fly the flag for global Britain.”

A Government source added: “The great job Liz has done with trade is part of the reason people feel so optimistic about Brexit. The shackles are off for Britain. We’re free to pursue trade deals with old friends and allies in the Commonwealth and faster-growing economies beyond Europe, and free to build our economy in the way we choose and lead the world in industries of the future like tech, science and services.” 

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