Two-thirds of public think Brexit has hurt UK economy, poll finds

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Almost two in three Britons believe Brexit has damaged the UK economy, a new poll for The Independent has found.

Some 61 per cent of voters say quitting the EU has made Britain’s economy worse, according to the Savanta ComRes survey – with only 13 per cent saying it had improved the economic situation.

The poll also revealed that most people also believe Brexit has added to the UK’s mounting food supply crisis which has seen a “crippling” shortage of some goods in the supermarket during the cost of living crisis.

Some 55 per cent said Britain’s exit from the EU had worsened the availability of goods, only 14 per cent said it had improved availability.

The survey also found that 47 per cent of the public said Brexit has made their own finances worse, only 13 per cent said their bank balance had been boosted by Britain’s exit from the bloc.

“This poll shows that there’s a strong perception that Brexit has not gone particularly well,” said Savanta director Chris Hopkins.

“While that may not equate directly to Brexit regret, we see little evidence in the perceptions of both Remainers and Leavers that Brexit has left the UK in a better state,” he said.

The pollster said previous surveys showed that there was perception among the public that the Leave campaign “told more lies” than the Remain camp before and after the 2016 referendum.

“Perhaps it’s this sense of disingenuity that influences perceptions now, with some Leavers feeling that they were perhaps mis-sold Brexit, even though they wouldn’t necessarily reverse their decision if a referendum came round again,” Mr Hopkin added.

The latest survey shows a hardening of views about the impact of Brexit. A similar poll for The Independent in January found that 56 per cent believed quitting the EU has made the economy worse.

There is also strong scepticism about the idea Brexit can help control immigration. Some 44 per cent of voters said Brexit had made control of borders worse, while 17 per cent said it had improved border control.

It follows a report by Durham University which said Brexit had led to the small boats crisis because the decision to leave the EU without a returns agreement in place created a “skyrocketing” number of dangerous crossings in the English Channel.

Rishi Sunak faces uphill battle getting DUP to back protocol deal

Rishi Sunak is understood to be on the verge of signing an agreement with the EU in a bid to end the long-running dispute over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

But he faces an uphill task in persuading the DUP to return to power-sharing arrangements at Stormont, while Tory Brexiteers are expected to rebel over a compromise deal if it maintains a role for the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The latest Savanta poll shows a largely negative perception of Brexit’s role in ties to Europe and Britain’s standing in the world, more than two years on from leaving.

It found that 53 per cent believe Brexit has worsened the relationship with the EU, while 13 per cent said it had improved ties with the bloc. Some 47 per cent say Brexit has reduced the UK’s global influence, while 16 per cent said it had boosted Britain’s standing.

The past years has seen the rise of Brexit regret, amid the deluge of data showing the painful impact on the economy and its growing unpopularity in the polls.

In December, the Centre for European Reform (CER) found that Brexit cost the UK a staggering £33bn in lost trade, investment and growth. The CER also estimated the tax loss from Brexit at around £40bn.

Earlier this month Jonathan Haskell, an external member of Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), said investment had been “stopped in its tracks” by Brexit.

The official revealed that the Bank had calculated that the hit to business investment has led to a drop in productivity worth about 1.3 per cent of GDP – around £29bn, or £1,000 per household.

“There is no doubt that there has been something of a decline in support for Brexit,” Prof Curtice previously told The Independent. “The principal explanation for the shift seems to be the economic consequences of Brexit.”

The Savanta ComRes poll of 2,201 adults was carried out between February 10 and 12.