A NEW survey has revealed that a large majority of Brits would vote to rejoin the EU if a new referendum were held today.
Nearly six in 10 (59%) of respondents in a recent survey by Redfield & Wilton Strategies support Britain’s re-entry to the European project, with a correspondent 41% against.
This actually represents a tiny swing of three points in Brexit’s favour since the last survey in August, when 62% of Brits yearned for EU membership
Additionally, when considering those who are unsure about their vote, 55% would opt to join the EU, while 38% would choose to stay out, and 8% remain uncertain.
Interestingly, of people who voted for Remain and Leave respectively in 2016, there has been a shift of 11% towards the former.
As much as 22% of those who originally voted ‘Leave’ now express a desire to join the EU, and 11% of ‘Remain’ voters would prefer to stay out.
Seven years on from the Brexit vote, 71% of respondents aged 18-24 – who were ineligible to vote in the 2016 EU referendum – would vote to join the EU.
The majority of other age groups would also choose to join, except for those aged 65 and above, with 54% preferring to stay out.
Almost a third of Brits (31%) now believe that the United Kingdom should definitely hold a referendum on its EU membership within the next five years.
On the other hand, only around a quarter (24%) believe a referendum is actually probable within that timeframe.
The issue of rejoining the EU is likely to grow and become a wedge issue in the coming years, according to the survey results.
Of the 2016 ‘Remain’ voters, 73% believe the UK should ‘definitely’ (49%) or ‘probably’ (24%) have a referendum on rejoining the EU in the next five years, and they are joined by 35% of 2016 ‘Leave’ voters who share this view.
Conversely, 32% of respondents are against another referendum on the UK’s EU membership within the next five years.
The majority of 2016 ‘Leave’ voters, at 56%, oppose the idea of a referendum, while only 19% of ‘Remain’ voters think such a vote ‘definitely’ (8%) or ‘probably’ (11%) shouldn’t be held.
A narrow plurality of 43% believes the issue is settled and should not be revisited, while a wafer-thin 1% separates them from the 42% of people who believe the matter should be reopened.
Despite the apparent willingness among the public to support another referendum, a plurality of Britons remains sceptical about the likelihood of re-entry.
Around 39% believe it is unlikely that the UK will reapply to join the EU within the next decade, including 50% of ‘Leave’ voters and 38% of ‘Remain’ voters.
Meanwhile, 30% think it is probable that the UK will apply for re-entry, a view more prevalent among ‘Remain’ voters (38%) compared to ‘Leave’ voters (21%).
The survey was conducted in partnership with ‘UK in a Changing Europe’, an independent research organisation that aims to promote rigorous, high-quality, and independent research into the complex and ever-changing relationship between the UK and the European Union (EU).
The initiative is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and is based at King’s College London.