According to recent YouGov polling, more than half of Britons would vote to rejoin the EU, signaling a significant shift in public sentiment since the Brexit referendum seven years ago. The survey reveals that 51% of respondents are in favor of the UK becoming an EU member again, while 32% prefer to stay out. This growing support for rejoining reflects a sense of disillusionment among British voters who have yet to witness the promised benefits of Brexit.
Since the UK’s departure from the EU, there have been various challenges and drawbacks. UK holidaymakers face longer queues at European airports, and shoppers contend with higher food prices caused by Brexit-related factors such as curbs on migrant workers and disruptions in supply chains. Additionally, the anticipated trade deal with the US, considered a significant post-Brexit advantage, seems unlikely to materialize in the near future.
Furthermore, the UK continues to grapple with a cost-of-living crisis, with inflation outpacing price rises in other European countries. Bloomberg analysis earlier this year highlighted the widening wealth and opportunity gap between regions that voted for Brexit and wealthier parts of the UK. These factors contribute to the increasing sentiment among Britons that the decision to leave the EU in 2016 was a mistake.
The YouGov survey also revealed that 57% of respondents believe the UK was wrong to vote for Brexit, marking the highest figure recorded by the polling firm. Interestingly, even among those who voted to leave the EU in 2016, one in five now admit it was the wrong decision. This shift in public opinion is attributed to “bregret” among Leave voters, with 18% stating they would vote to enter the EU in the most recent polling.
Looking ahead, if a second referendum were held in 2023, YouGov found that a clear majority (64%) would vote to remain in the EU, while only 36% would choose to leave. The proportion of 2016 Leave voters willing to change their vote has doubled since early 2021, from 9% to 18%.
These polls demonstrate a significant shift in public opinion regarding Brexit, with a growing number of Britons expressing regret and a desire to reestablish ties with the European Union. The findings invite reflection on the long-term impact of Brexit and the importance of aligning public sentiment with the decisions that shape a nation’s future.
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