Brexit: Boris Johnson praises work of negotiator David Frost
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Relations between London and Brussels have been characterised by increasing testiness in recent weeks, with eurocrats apparently irked by Brexit minister Lord David Frost’s refusal to soften his stance over the protocol on particular. Last week European Commissioner Maros Sefcovic warned relations between the EU and the UK would “sour” unless the situation was resolved, while Brussels insiders yesterday floated the idea of Lord Frost being replaced by Michael Gove as Britain’s Brexit frontman.
A survey published by the pro-Brexit think tank Facts4EU this weekend suggested the EU’s attitude was beginning to grate with the British publish, with almost 95 percent of the 1,412 people who responded between Monday and midday on Friday said they now preferred to buy goods originating in Britain or the rest of the world over those from the EU27.
Speaking about the results of the poll on Friday, Facts4EU editor-in-chief Leigh Evans said: “For some time we have been aware of an increasing number of people saying that the EU’s relations with the UK since Brexit have caused them to rethink their buying decisions in favour of UK suppliers or those from other non-EU countries.
“Whilst our poll falls into the category of ‘self-selecting’ rather than being a purely random survey, the results are so powerful that there seems to be no question of the strength of feeling in the United Kingdom. Pro and anti-EU respondents were equally able to complete the survey, and we made efforts to encourage all sides to participate, as we stated in our introduction.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Image: GETTY)
“In a further measure to ensure balance we placed the pro-EU options for the multiple choice answers above those which express disinclination to buy from the EU27 countries.
“We also left the poll open for more than four days to allow time for the link to the poll to be sent out by both pro and anti-EU individuals and groups.”
“Even accounting for an element of ‘self-selection bias’, these results must come as a wake-up call to businesses in the EU27 countries that the actions and statements from the EU Commission, EU Council, and EU Parliament have not endeared the traditionally fair British public to the EU in general.
Facts4EU published their own poll on Friday (Image: Facts4EU)
Mr Evans stressed: “We have seen no evidence of any negative feelings by UK citizens towards the citizens of EU27 countries – it is the actions and words from the ideological leaders of the bloc that have caused an apparent backlash.
“Facts4EU.Org has observed many former ‘Remainers’ becoming ardent ‘Brexiteers’, as a result of the way the UK has been treated.”
In total, 30.7 percent of respondents vowed not to buy any items from EU countries, with 48.8 percent much less likely to, and a further 15.7 percent saying they were somewhat less likely to, adding up to 94.8 percent.
A further two percent said they had not altered their buying habits, while just 2.3 percent said they were more likely to buy EU products since Brexit.
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Lord David Frost is overseeing talks with the EU (Image: GETTY)
Some eurocrats believe Michael Gove would be more suitable (Image: GETTY)
Speaking to Express.co.uk, David Jones, the deputy chairman of the European Research Group as well as the Tory MP for Clwyd West, said: “Most UK citizens would now prefer to buy British- or Commonwealth-produced goods or goods from third countries.
“That is undoubtedly a major loss to the EU, given the size and affluence of the British economy, but it is also a boost to domestic producers, who now clearly have the goodwill of millions of UK consumers.
“The shift away from buying EU goods will also be a major asset in our trade negotiations with other countries around the world.”
Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures have suggested in March 2019, imports from the remaining 27 EU member states totalled £25.2billion, compared with £17.8billion for the rest of the world.
Brexit timeline (Image: Express)
However, in the same month this year, EU imports plummeted by nearly 30 percent to £18.9billion, while non-EU imports increased slightly by 2.1 percent to £19.3billion.
Express.co.uk readers made their feelings clear in response to a story published on Monday.
One commented: “The EU have spent the last five years insulting me and my country.
“Why on earth would I wish to buy their goods or services?
David Jones, chairman of the European Research Group (ERG) (Image: Parliament TV)
“I avoid everything EU at all cost, they have nothing but hatred for me and my fellow Great British People.”
Another added: “I am doing my bit and I am not buying EU goods wherever I have a choice. No EU wine, butter or cheese etc.
“No EU cars and when I need new white goods I will make sure they are not from the EU.
“I definitely check origin of goods to make sure where stuff comes from so I do not buy their goods.”