Poll: majority of MPs believe UK can remain in the single market despite Brexit

And Labour and Tory MPs disagree with the party leaders on a host of other Brexit issues.

Just over half of MPs believe remaining in the single market is compatible with Brexit, new polling showed today. And that’s not the only Brexit issue that MPs disagree with the party leaders on.

90 per cent of Labour MPs believe single market membership is compatible with Brexit, in stark contrast to what the Labour leader has repeatedly claimed, the poll showed.

Labour MPs appear more in tune with Labour Party members on the issue than the party leadership – 87 per cent of Labour members said Britain should remain in the single market in another recent poll.

On the other side of the House, despite Theresa May suggesting the UK would be prepared to accept EU rules during a transition arrangement, 74 per cent of Tory MPs think that freedom of movement must end and 63% oppose the European Court of Justice having jurisdiction in the UK during any transition.

Tory and Labour MPs differ greatly in their outlooks for Britain’s prospects after Brexit. The research also found: 

  • Nearly two-thirds of Conservative MPs (65 per cent) agreed that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’, whilst 77 per cent of Labour MPs strongly disagreed.
  • 89 per cent of Tory MPs believe the economy will get better over the next decade, whilst only 23 per cent of Labour MPs believe so.
  • Ninety per cent of Labour MPs feel it is likely or very likely the EU will thrive in the future, whilst over half of Tory MPs were negative about the European Union’s prospects.

The polling was conducted by Ipsos MORI in November and December last year, interviewing 105 MPs.

Professor Anand Menon, director of The UK in a Changing Europe, who commissioned the research said:

“Brexit presents a stark challenge to the leaderships of both major political parties. Their views are at odds with those of their own MPs. This promises to cause significant problems for both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn.

“The prime minister, in particular, might face considerable opposition from her own backbenchers when it comes to securing the kind of transitional deal she has indicated she wants.”

Labour MP Wes Streeting commented on the findings: “This new poll of MPs reveals two things: firstly, that the ludicrous rhetoric of the Brexit extremists is increasingly colliding with the reality of what leaving the EU actually entails.

“At some point, Theresa May will have to stare down the fanatics on her own back benches if she’s going to avoid the chaos of a no-deal Brexit.

“It shows there is no majority in the House of Commons for crashing out of the Single Market, which would be a disaster for jobs and our economy.”

If one thing’s for certain, it’s that May and Corbyn’s face significant challenges within their own parties over Brexit – today’s poll results just make that even clearer.

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