by Nick Hallett 26 Oct 2016
The majority of Britons consider controlling immigration more important than staying in the European Union’s Single Market, a survey has found.
The Survation poll for ITV’s The Agenda shows that 56 per cent said they were concerned about tackling mass immigration than keeping trade benefits with European countries.
By comparison, 44 per cent would prefer to stay in the Single Market.
The poll also found that if the EU referendum were re-run, Britain would still vote to leave, with 47 per cent backing Brexit, compared to 46 per cent against. Seven per cent said they would be undecided.
Of those who voted Leave in June, 48 per cent said immigration was their main motivation, followed by 25 per cent who said they wanted more control over who makes UK laws.
Voters also still seem happy to give Prime Minister Theresa May the benefit of the doubt in handling Brexit, with 58 per cent saying they approve of her handling of the process so far, compared to just 25 per cent who disapprove.
The poll will come as a blow for Remain campaigners who are calling for a so-called “soft Brexit” in which Britain stays within the Single Market, something that would likely require it to keep EU free movement rules.
Their calls come despite EU President Donald Tusk specifically ruling out such a scenario, saying earlier this month: “I think it is useless to speculate about ‘soft Brexit’.”
“In my opinion, the only real alternative to a ‘hard Brexit’ is ‘no Brexit’. Even if today hardly anyone believes in such a possibility,” he added.
The poll also comes just days after an analysis found that EU businesses would face trading tariffs of £13 billion if the bloc does not give Britain a trading deal upon Brexit.
British businesses would fare better, with just £5 billion tariffs to export to the EU.