A poll by Ipsos MORI has suggested that the UK had a preference for remaining in the European single market over tighter immigration controls. The small difference reflects the closely divided opinions in the UK with regards to the Brexit negotiations. Though the current run of polls all suggest that the British public has a small tendency towards keeping access to the single market.
This may make life even harder on the Prime Minister Theresa May. Whilst the Prime Minister was herself a staunch remainer during the Brexit campaign, she has since taken a harder position on the UK's future with the trading bloc. During the recent general election campaign, the PM laid out the future of Britain's relationship with the EU. The hardline approach was a significant part of the gamble, which has seemingly backfired onto the beleaguered PM.
Keeping access with the trading bloc would keep Britain at the forefront of trade. Whilst not one of the world's bigger exporters, the UK is a large importer of goods. It is also one of the world's leading financial service centres, and this industry in particular benefits from access to the EU. Recently the subject of EU clearing had been brought up; the potential loss of such business would hit the UK hard.
Though much like the Brexit campaign itself, it appears that the younger generation is the one who is significantly more open to the idea of remaining inside the bloc. Indeed as in the Brexit campaign, there is a stark gap between the way that young and old vote. This is in no small part down to the fact that the younger generation is far more likely to use and benefit from freedom of movement.
Whilst the survey in no way signals a powerful message to politicians, it does show that the public is starting to craft their own vision of what Brexit should look like. It certainly appears to be softer than many in the Conservative party are aiming for. In recent months, many of the leading Brexit campaigners have returned to the fore, with this many of Mrs May's foes are in the frame. This has caused a spell of infighting, as senior government figures sense that a weakened PM could be usurped by a coup.
But now as the dust settles, the taste for a Hard Brexit appears to be diminishing as the realities of a future outside of the union are coming into full view. These changes in the public's position could temper the feelings of the very anti-EU feeling from some within the government. This will be a relief to the majority of ministers who didn't want a Brexit at all. As many things, it appears that the answer will lay somewhere in the middle and the aim of the Brexit that appeases all may indeed be achievable after all.
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