Brexit debate ‘far from settled down’ says Alastair Campbell
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The latest polling from Savanta ComRes, which questioned 2,060 UK adults from November 26-28, suggested the UK is failing in its vow to regain control following the departure from the EU. Just a quarter of adults said the Government has done well to take back control of borders (27 percent) and fisheries (28 percent). These figures only edge up slightly for taking back control of trade (39 percent) and democracy in general (38 percent).
But most worryingly for the Prime Minister, nearly two thirds (64 percent) said the Government has done badly to take back control of the UK’s borders.
Nearly the same proportion of both Leave voters (65 percent) and Conservative Party voters (63 percent) also believed the Government has performed badly on the issue.
Regaining control of trade with rival countries is the area most Leave voters said the Government has performed best (56 percent).
The Government has come under intense pressure over the migrant crisis over the last week following the deaths of 27 people trying to cross the English Channel in a small boat.
As a result, the poll found nearly a quarter said the UK Government (24 percent) and Mr Johnson (24 percent) have managed the escalating crisis adequately.
The figure falls further to just over a fifth (21 percent) who say the same of Home Secretary Priti Patel, with more than three quarters (68 percent) saying she has handled the crisis badly.
But in another blow for the Tories, the proportion who say Ms Patel has handled the crises badly includes 62 percent of the party’s own voters from the 2019 general election, and two-third (66 percent) of Leave voters.
Despite these criticisms, Britons appear even more furious with the EU, with just 19 percent believing the bloc has handled the current crisis well.
This falls even further for Emmanuel Macron (17 percent) and the French Government (16 percent) – both of whom have launched scathing attacks against Brexit Britain over recent days and weeks.
Seven in ten (70 percent) said Mr Macron’s Government has handled the crisis badly, which was higher than any other Government, organisation or individual tested in the Savanta ComRes study.
The poll also found Britons are largely split over the most effective ways to stop migrants crossing the Channel in small boats.
Mr Johnson’s sent a ‘five-point plan’ to Mr Macron last week – a letter that sparked fury in France over its publication on social media that saw the French slam the door on Ms Patel to a crunch meeting on the crisis.
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From this plan, improved work between the countries’ joint intelligence services (61 percent) was seen as the most effective method to help solve the crisis, particularly amongst Conservative voters from two years ago (68 percent).
Just under six in ten overall (58 percent) and more than two-thirds of Tory voters (69 percent) said joint patrols of French beaches would be the most ‘effective’ solution.
A bilateral agreement to return migrants to France is seen as the most ineffective method (36 percent ineffective) amongst the UK adults quizzed in the poll.
Chris Hopkins, Political Research Director at Savanta ComRes, the findings from the poll do not make particularly bad reading for Mr Johnson and his under-pressure Government.
He warned that the disappointment in the Government’s handling of the migrant crisis and little progress being made on the matter could cause the Tories huge problems in upcoming elections.
Mr Hopkins said: “With the government seen to be performing badly on something as dyed in the wool as ‘taking back control’, things must be pretty dire.
“Indeed, the migrant crisis presents a politically difficult situation for the government, particularly among voters who, in voting for Brexit and trusting Boris Johnson to get Brexit done, would have expected the UK to unilaterally be able to prevent such a crisis and continued humanitarian tragedy from happening.
“Ultimately, voters want to see tougher action from the government, but with migrants still making the perilous journey, and little action being taken by the government besides the usual bluster and rhetoric, it’s fair to wonder whether this could develop into an electoral issue for the Conservatives going forward.”
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