BREAKING: The public back remaining in Single Market and Customs Union

Voters reject Theresa May's harsh Brexit - suggesting Labour's Parliamentary rebels have public backing.

A majority of the public now believe the UK should stay in the Single Market, according to a new poll for Left Foot Forward.

Of those with a view, 60% believe the UK should remain in the Single Market, according to the poll by BMG Research. Only 16% believe the UK should quit, while one in four (24%) neither agree nor disagree.

And 71% of Labour supporters back remaining in the market – suggesting the Parliamentary party’s rebels have the backing of their voters.

A majority of Conservative voters with a view also back remaining in the agreement – with support at 54% compared to 22% who disagree.

The poll comes after 48 Labour MPs defied the party whip and voted to stay in the Single Market, in a crucial vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill on Wednesday.

Support is also high for remaining in the Customs Union, at 57% compared to 27% who neither agree nor disagree. Just one in seven (16%) believe we should quit.

Commenting, Chuka Umunna, a leading supporter of Open Britain and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on EU Relations, said: 

“It is clear that a majority of the British public and an even greater proportion of Labour voters want the UK to stay in the Single Market and Customs Union.

“That’s the best anti-austerity policy there is, because it protects businesses and jobs – keeping revenue flowing to the Exchequer that can be spent on public investment and services.

“It is vital we stand up against Theresa May’s false claims that it is necessary to leave the Single Market and Customs Union if Brexit takes place. If the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement does not include those things, we should not support it.

“As the Presidents of the EU Commission and Council have made clear this week, Brexit is not inevitable.

“If the British people don’t like the deal on the table at the end of this process, they are entitled to change their minds. The EU would welcome us back with open arms.”

Left Foot Forward Editor Josiah Mortimer, who commissioned the poll, said:

“Wednesday night’s rebels seem to have the support of the public – including Labour voters.

“The growing calls from MPs to avert a ‘hard Brexit’ have popular backing, putting pressure on the Prime Minister to change course.

“But these findings also reflect the mounting campaign for Labour’s leadership to back remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union – or indeed halt Brexit altogether.

“While the EU Withdrawal Bill is onto its next stage, Jeremy Corbyn’s task – balancing very different views on Brexit – is not going to get any easier in the next few months.

“What side the leadership come down on will have a major bearing on what the final deal looks like.”

The poll follows findings that a majority of those with a view would back holding a fresh in/out referendum on EU membership if Theresa May fails to secure a Brexit deal at the end of this year.

On Tuesday, European Scrutiny Committee member and former Labour Shadow Minister Kate Green told Left Foot Forward that Brexit is reversible, and joined the growing number of Labour MPs backing Single Market membership.

Voters believe the three main parties’ stances on Brexit are currently unclear – with time running out for them to nail down their positions.

Source Note: BMG Research interviewed a representative sample of 1,513 UK adults online between 9th & 12th January. Data are weighted. BMG are members of the British Polling Council and abide by their rules.

The questions asked were: ‘Thinking about Brexit, do you agree or disagree with the following statements? – The UK should remain a member of the single market’, and: ‘Thinking about Brexit, do you agree or disagree with the following statements? – The UK should remain a member of the Customs Union’.

See also: Public would back fresh referendum in event of ‘no deal’ Brexit

8 Responses to “BREAKING: The public back remaining in Single Market and Customs Union”

  1. Alasdair Macdonald

    However, Labour’s policy remains to leave both the single market and the customs union. This is the policy of the Conservatives, too. So, the fact that a majority of the public, as indicated by an opinion poll, wish to remain is, in the face of Westminster arrogance and trough-snuffling, of no import.
    Until the constitution is changed radically to devolve powers far more widely both Labour and the Tories will protect their exclusive rights to wield Westminster’s power for periods of time, principally in the interests of their cliques and only in the interests of the majority, if the majority shows signs of becoming restive. Over 100 years ago, Kipling caught it pretty well:
    “For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute!
    But it’s ” Saviour of ‘is country ” when the guns begin to shoot;”

  2. patrick newman

    As an ex-Leave voter, now remain supporter the case for remain as Party Policy is still immature. The sky has not fallen in although it has dropped a little. The majority of Labour supporters may well support remaining in the Customs Union and the Single Market but do they also accept the four conditions and in particular the freedom of movement which basically means the official policy is to revoke Article 50 and throw ourselves at the feet of the 27 asking for forgiveness and approval? Furthermore, Labour supporters are not the same as Labour voters in winnable seats. There is a very limited supply of ‘Canterburys’! So proceed with caution but be ready to respond to clear evidence that the game is up on Leave.

  3. Mike

    Given how the previous BMG poll on the desire for another referendum in a ‘no deal’ scenario was so heavily biased by the question I’m interested to see the polling data when it is released. BMG would not have done such a biased poll unless they had been asked.
    The questions you are polling for are valid ones and it would be interesting to see real results for these. When you ask a pollster to supply the results you want you only damage your cause and damage confidence in polling results even if later they are done accurately.

  4. Lawman

    “Should we remain in the single market?”

    Well, it sounds a good idea in principle, but surely then we have to comply with “the 4 pillars”; in which case what is the difference from staying in the EU?

    We cannot answer Yes or No until we know on what terms UK would stay in the single market; and no-one, including HMG, has given any view on this.

  5. Martyn Wood-Bevan

    If Labour back staying in the Single Market etc. then we can kiss goodbye to a sizeable part of the Working Class vote. The “cliff edge” scenario predicted by some organisations rests on fatally flawed methodology. The LSE calculates that the effect on the UK economy through Brexit will be less than 2% at worst and will disappear by 2030. Also some of Labours new policies would actually be difficult to implement in the Single Market, whatever some people have said.

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