Brexit opposition reaches record high one week after snap election announcement

While 44 per cent agree with Brexit, the same percentage think leaving the EU would be wrong

Rachael Revesz
Tuesday 25 April 2017 08:29 BST
Ms May repeatedly urged voters to choose a 'strong and stable government'
Ms May repeatedly urged voters to choose a 'strong and stable government' (Reuters)

Opposition to Brexit has reached a record high just one week after Prime Minister Theresa May announced a general election in June.

Seven days after Ms May called the snap election from the steps of 10 Downing Street, opposition to leaving the European Union rose to 44 per cent, according to the latest YouGov figures, while the same percentage thought Brexit was right.

The figures, analysed by election expert Mike Smithson, show that support and opposition to Brexit were now level-pegging, at a crucial time for the Government.

Ms May justified the election by telling reporters that the Conservatives were unified in their vision of Brexit, but Westminster was not, and that she needed a mandate to press ahead with two years of negotiations.

As she spoke, YouGov showed support for Brexit was at 45 per cent, while opposition was 43 per cent.

The percentage of people who do not know has remained solid at 12 per cent since 10 January.

All political parties have said they respect the vote of the people on 23 June last year to leave the EU, but have offered differing views as to how negotiations should take place, what their focus should be and whether Parliament and the people should have another vote.

The Liberal Democrats will promise voters a second Brexit referendum if people are unhappy with the UK's deal, while the Women's Equality Party has pledged a chance for MPs to vote down the final Brexit deal if they disagree with it.

Tim Farron: 'I can jolly well affect the result of the snap general election'

Critics including businesswoman Gina Miller, who forced Ms May through the Supreme Court to consult Parliament before triggering Article 50 on 29 March, has threatened further legal action as she was worried that the Prime Minister would use sweeping powers to decide which EU laws the UK should keep and which should be discarded.

The “Henry VIII clauses” granted to Ms May means she, as it stands, does not need the Parliament to vote on each of the 80,000 EU acts as they may be moderated and adopted into UK law.

The snap election on 8 June comes as the Prime Minister has achieved record-high approval ratings, and polls show she is destined to win an even larger majority in Parliament.

Her critics and members of opposing parties have derided her decision to have another election as an opportunistic move, designed to crush opposition.

At recent campaign events, Ms May has urged voters to opt for a “strong and stable government” and has refused to participate in televised debates, despite more than 115,000 people having signed a petition calling on her to do so.

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