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Anti-Brexit campaigners who attempted to ignite a Rejoin movement in the immediate aftermath of Britain’s departure from the EU on New Year’s Eve face an uphill struggle with Sir John Curtice suggesting Remainers now largely accept the situation.
Most Remain votersbelieve there is little point in questioning a decision that has been made and executed
Sir John Curtice
Sir John said there were no signs that Remain voters had changed their minds and fallen in behind the decision to Leave.
But he suggested they saw little point in questioning Brexit now Britain’s departure from the bloc had been completed.
Sir John said a recent Britain-wide YouGov poll found only 76 percent of Remain voters said that they would vote in favour of joining the EU, well down on the 89 percent who said that they would vote to Remain again.
Leave voters, meanwhile, were almost as likely to say that they would vote against joining the EU (79 percent) as they were to say they would vote to Leave again (81 percent).
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Writing on the WhatUKthinks website, Sir John said: “Despite the intensity of the Brexit debate in the last four years, we might anticipate that public opinion is now showing signs of moving on.
“But what might ‘moving on’ mean?
“One possibility is that irrespective of whatever view they had when the UK left the EU just over a year ago, most Remain voters now believe that there is little point in questioning a decision that has not only been made but fully executed.
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“They therefore now accept the decision to Leave – and certainly would not contemplate re-joining the EU.
“Meanwhile, as a result of this change of heart, Brexit should now be more popular among voters as a whole than it was when the country went to the polls in the June 2016 referendum.”
He said evidence from opinion polls showed some Remain supporters would not vote in favour of reversing Brexit even though they would still prefer Britain to be part of the EU.
He said: “To that extent, there is an apparent acceptance on their part that Brexit is done and dusted.
“However, it is evidently only a minority of Remain voters – perhaps numbering no more than one in eight – who feel that way.
“Moreover, even when we take their views into account, voters as a whole still emerge as being almost equally divided between those who would like to be back inside the EU and those who would not.”
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Sir John said mainstream political parties other than the SNP had also decided to accept Brexit.
He said: “At the moment, both Labour and the Liberal Democrats (though not the SNP) have vacated the Brexit battlefield, as they lick the wounds inflicted on them by Boris Johnson’s call in the December 2019 election to ‘Get Brexit Done’.
“Neither seems at all inclined to open a new chapter in Britain’s Brexit story.
“However, we should not presume that this means that ‘the strife is o’er’ so far as voters’ hearts and minds are concerned.”
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