NEW POLL: Public expect Brexit transition period to be extended to avoid no-deal

Three-quarters of the public want a trade deal with the EU, with a majority of people now expecting the transition period to be extended in order to secure one, a new opinion poll has found.

The Focaldata poll was commissioned by cross-party campaign group Best for Britain and HOPE not hate to coincide with the penultimate round of UK-EU negotiations before June’s High Level meeting of the Joint Committee. More than 2,000 Brits were asked for their opinion on whether they wanted a Brexit deal and an extension to the Brexit transition period.

Conservative voters want a deal

The survey found that the public is still overwhelmingly in favour of the Conservative Party’s manifesto commitment to secure a trade deal with the EU, despite UK ministers moving Covid-19 teams back to working full-time on no-deal preparations this week.

Three-quarters of those asked said they would prefer that “A UK-EU trade deal comes into force after the transition period”, as opposed to “The UK exits with no EU trade deal”. This includes 64 per cent of Conservative voters and 57 per cent of Leave voters, and is strongly supported across all age groups and UK regions.

Majority of Brits expect transition extension - to deal with Coronavirus first

And with the crisis threatening a second wave of infections as nations around the world begin easing their lockdown restrictions, a majority of the public (59%) now expect the transition period to be extended in order for the Government to fulfil their promise to deliver that trade deal.

While some have argued that the Government might find it politically difficult to extend the transition period given its promise not to countenance any delay, almost half of those at whom the promise was targeted do not expect this commitment to be kept in the wake of the current public health crisis. The poll found that 42% of Conservative and Leave voters now expect the transition period to be extended.    

Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith has urged the Government to "reclaim the time stolen by coronavirus by extending the transition period" in order to secure a Brexit deal.

Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith said:

"Voters overwhelmingly want to leave the EU with a comprehensive Brexit deal, something this Government promised as part of its manifesto.

"The transition period was designed to give us time to secure that trade deal and make preparations for it to come into effect.

"That time has already been decimated by coronavirus. And with fears of a possible second wave of infections around the corner, it would be prudent to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

"We urge the Government to reclaim the time stolen by coronavirus by extending the transition period."

HOPE not hate CEO Nick Lowles said:

"The fact that a no-deal Brexit remains a possibility will terrify businesses and communities up and down the country, especially as they struggle to deal with Covid-19.

"With the economy already reeling, it is astounding that the Government wants to ignore the impact of leaving the Single Market.

"Leaving without a deal risks pouring kerosene on the fire currently engulfing our economy."

The Poll

The data tables for this poll can be downloaded here

Focaldata poll, commissioned by cross-party campaign group Best for Britain and HOPE not hate. 2,003 UK adults were surveyed between 1st-4th May 2020. Focaldata is a member of the British Polling Council and was the MRP provider for the Conservative Party at the 2019 election.

Find out more

Read the report:
Getting the Best Deal for Britain, The Case and Mechanism for Extending Transition in the Time of Covid-19

Learn more:
Our April 2020 poll found most people support a long transition extension until Coronavirus is dealt with

Sign the petition: 
Extend Transition: Focus on beating the Coronavirus