Brexit regret among Leave voters hits record high, poll finds

Seven years on from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, more Brexiteers than ever regret their decision

Archie Mitchell
Tuesday 23 May 2023 14:30 BST
<p>The poll findings came just a week after Nigel Farage declared Brexit has ‘failed’ </p>

The poll findings came just a week after Nigel Farage declared Brexit has ‘failed’

Brexit regret among Leave voters has reached a record high, a new poll has found.

Seven years on from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, more voters than ever believe Brexit has been a “failure”. The YouGov poll found more than a third of those who backed Leave in the referendum say Brexit has been more of a failure than a success.

Meanwhile just a fifth of Leave supporters said Brexit had been “more of a success”, the survey found.

Overall, 62 per cent of voters said leaving the EU had been “more of a failure”, with just nine per cent saying it had been a “success”.

Among 18-24-year-olds, more than two thirds said Brexit had been “more of a failure”. Less than one in 20 considered it a “success”.

Support remains stronger in older age groups, but almost half of over-65s now consider Brexit to have been a “failure”.

The stark findings come just a week after Nigel Farage declared that Brexit had “failed”.

The former Brexit and UKIP Party leader said the UK had not “benefitted from Brexit economically”, claiming that government policy had deterred businesses from investing in the UK.

Brexiteer Tory MP David Jones was more positive about the UK’s departure from the EU. He told The Independent: “Brexit is the biggest and best opportunity presented to the UK for two generations. We have regained our sovereignty and can now make our own way in the world.”

Mr Jones said “everyone knew” the break-up would take some time, but insisted “we are already seeing the benefits”. He cited trade deals with the UK’s “old allies” including Australia and New Zealand.

“The benefits of Brexit will continue to manifest themselves and become increasingly obvious over the years to come,” he added.

But Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokeswoman Layla Moran told The Independent: “The Conservatives’ botched deal with Europe has been an utter disaster for the country.

"We simply cannot afford to go on like this. To grow the economy, you have to fix our broken relationship with Europe."

And Naomi Smith, chief executive of Best for Britain, which campaigns for closer ties with the EU, said: “Polling consistently shows that Britain has a severe case of voter's remorse from a Brexit that increased costs for businesses and consumers alike, removed freedoms and opportunities, and delivered none of its promised benefits.

“Hundreds of businesses have told us that Brexit, in its current form, isn’t working and we will continue to feel the economic pain until policymakers acknowledge this clear consensus.”

YouGov’s poll also found that more than seven in 10 people think the government has handled Brexit badly. Less than a fifth of voters think the government’s handling of Britain’s EU exit has been good.

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