LONDON – Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to leave the European Union are being majorly opposed by the British public and more than a third of voters would support a new right-wing political party committed to quitting the bloc, according to a new poll.
May’s continuing political vulnerability has been exposed by the survey which found voters would prefer Boris Johnson, who quit as her foreign minister two weeks ago, to negotiate with the EU and lead the Conservative Party into the next election.
What was also not a good public outcome of this poll was that only 16% of voters say May is handling the Brexit negotiations well, compared with 34% who say that Johnson would do a better job. The poll was conducted by YouGov for The Sunday Times newspaper.
With just more than eight months to go before Britain is set to leave the EU on March 29, 2019, May’s government, parliament, the public and businesses remain very divided over what form Brexit should take.
May’s plans was to a close trading relationship with the EU on goods but this decision put her government into crisis this month. Speculation was rife that she could face a leadership challenge after two of her most senior ministers, including Johnson, resigned over her direction over Brexit.
The poll said that only one in 10 voters would pick the government’s proposed Brexit plans if there were a second referendum and nearly half of the people surveyed thought it would be bad for Britain.
The new Brexit minister Dominic Raab said on Sunday the prime minister was still trying to persuade members of the cabinet that her strategy was the best way forward.
But Raab warned that Britain could refuse to pay a 39 billion pound ($51 billion) divorce bill to the EU if it does not get a trade deal – a threat used before by ministers.
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