No Deal? No fear! Public opinion swings behind hard Brexit as voters flock to back Boris Johnson because of his stance of Europe
- A total of 45 per cent polled agree that a No Deal scenario is ‘nothing to fear’
- Some 30 per cent believe that it would cause ‘severe’ problems, says Deltapoll
- Some 35 per cent of Tories say Boris’s position on Brexit has won their backing
Leaving the European Union without a deal will pose no threat to public safety, the Security Minister has declared – as a new Mail on Sunday poll shows voters are becoming less concerned about the effects of a hard Brexit.
A total of 45 per cent agree that a No Deal scenario is ‘nothing to fear’ or would cause only ‘short term problems’ with ‘few or no consequences for the UK’.
That compares with 30 per cent who believe that it would cause ‘severe’ problems, according to the Deltapoll research.
A new Mail on Sunday poll shows voters are becoming less concerned about the effects of a hard Brexit
Those advocating for such a hard Brexit will be bolstered by Minister Ben Wallace’s insistence today that such a result will have no major downside for national security.
He told The Mail on Sunday that the British intelligence community would be ready for such a situation ‘because very little would change’.
The former Remain supporter, who ran Boris Johnson’s 2016 leadership campaign, said while law enforcement tools such as the European Arrest Warrant could be affected ‘sub-optimally’ by a hard Brexit, there were mitigating benefits from walking away from Brussels.
He insisted that ‘our ability to protect ourselves increases, because unilaterally we can do things to defend our borders that we cannot currently do as members of the European Union’.
The poll also indicates that Boris Johnson’s stance on Brexit has boosted his chances of becoming Prime Minister
Asked directly if public safety would be an issue in a No Deal Brexit, Mr Wallace stressed: ‘I don’t believe it would be significantly affected.
‘I think there will be some downsides to it – but every variant of the deal has some winners and losers.
‘To give your readers some comfort, our European partners know that security is not a competition, it’s a partnership.
‘It’s in both our interests to resolve security issues very quickly because it’s not an economic advantage.
Among all voters, Boris Johnson is regarded as three times as likeable as Mr Hunt, and also tops the measures for competence and trustworthiness
Those advocating for such a hard Brexit will be bolstered by Minister Ben Wallace’s (pictured) insistence today that such a result will have no major downside for national security
‘This is not about who’s going to sell each other more cars, this is about helping each other. Our European partners have given us all the indications that when it comes to security, it’s professional.’
His views were echoed by Brexit Minister James Cleverly, who said: ‘As the Minister in charge of No Deal planning, let me assure you that we are much better prepared for a No Deal departure than some would have you believe.’
The leadership contender insisted that a hard Brexit was not his first choice, but added: ‘Both businesses and the Civil Service have been working hard for more than two years, getting ready for this possibility.’
In a further development last night, Tory leadership rival Dominic Raab announced he would appoint a special ‘Minister for No Deal’ at Cabinet level if he became Prime Minister to toughen our negotiating stance with Brussels.
Brexit Minister James Cleverly said the government is prepared for a No Deal departure
The former Brexit Secretary also set out his battle plan for dealing with the anticipated fallout if we leave the EU without a deal, including emergency COBRA meetings.
Mr Raab said: ‘To give ourselves the best shot of a deal, we must be willing to walk away.
‘We will not be taken seriously in Brussels unless we are clear that we will leave on WTO [World Trade Organisation] terms if the EU doesn’t budge.’
And he claimed fears that the Channel ports would grind to a halt were overstated as customs officers would not need to carry any more checks than they do currently.
Mr Raab added that even if there were delays at ports, fewer than one in ten food items would be directly affected.
Today’s Mail on Sunday poll also shows No Deal is now more popular in the country than the deal which Theresa May negotiated with Brussels.
If a second referendum were held tomorrow, just 28 per cent of voters would support her deal – lower than the 33 per cent who would leave on WTO terms.
The proportion wanting to Remain is 42 per cent.
The poll also indicates that Boris Johnson’s stance on Brexit has boosted his chances of becoming Prime Minister.
Of Tory voters, 35 per cent say his belief that the UK should leave the EU by the October 31 deadline, ‘deal or no deal’, has made them more likely to support him, compared with 30 per cent who said it made them less likely.
Polling also suggests that Jeremy Hunt has been damaged by his inconsistency. The Foreign Secretary has ‘flip flopped’ on No Deal, first saying that he was relaxed about it before describing it as ‘political suicide’.
In a further development last night, Tory leadership rival Dominic Raab announced he would appoint a special ‘Minister for No Deal’ at Cabinet level if he became Prime Minister to toughen our negotiating stance with Brussels
A total of 31 per cent said that they were less likely to support him as a result of his vacillation, with just 14 per cent more likely to back him.
What does hard Brexit really mean?
What is a hard Brexit?
Should Britain and the EU fail to secure a withdrawal agreement, they will trade with each other on World Trade Organisation terms.
This rules-based trading system involves 164 countries which guarantee to keep their markets open to all other members.
Every nation has a list of tariffs (taxes on the imports of goods) and quotas (limits on these goods which it applies across the board).
How will it work?
A Under the WTO’s ‘most favoured nation’ rules, the UK cannot discriminate between members. If we lowered tariffs for the EU, or any specific country, we must do it for all nations – unless we agree a trade deal. While Britain would no longer be bound by EU rules, it would have to face the same tariffs on trade with the EU as any other external nation.
The Irish border issue remains unresolved, with the Government saying it does not intend to collect customs duties or have any other controls after a No Deal Brexit.
How will it affect me?
A Under the WTO tariff regime, the price of some goods from countries such as China and the US would fall, with oranges, TVs and batteries all enjoying zero per cent tariffs. However, tariffs on EU goods like beef, Volkswagen cars and cheese would be introduced, hiking up prices. Mobile roaming charges in EU countries are likely to rise and pharmacists are advising patients to order medicines in advance.
The changes mean Mr Johnson has opened up a commanding lead over his rivals, topping the poll for best Tory leader both among Conservative voters and the wider electorate.
Mr Johnson has the backing of 39 per cent of Tory voters compared to 15 per cent for Mr Hunt and 13 per cent for Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
A total of 32 per cent of all voters say he would be best placed to succeed Mrs May – nearly three times the level of support of second-placed Mr Gove.
Of the rest of the field, Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid are tied in third place with nine per cent.
Dominic Raab, who is performing strongly among the Tory MPs who will decide which two candidates will be put forward to the party membership for a final decision, is on five per cent.
Rory Stewart, the leadership contender most critical of No Deal, has the support of just one per cent of Tory voters, and four per cent amid the wider public.
Mr Johnson wins on every measure asked by the pollsters. Among all voters, he is regarded as three times as likeable as Mr Hunt, and also tops the measures for competence and trustworthiness.
The poll, which had a larger-than-usual sample size of 2,449, confirms the earthquake which has rocked the two-party system since Mrs May delayed Brexit beyond the end of March.
Labour are in the lead with 26 per cent, just ahead of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party on 24 per cent.
The Conservatives are in third on 20 per cent, while the Liberal Democrats, who have surged as a result of backing from Remain supporters, are on 16 per cent.
Deltapoll interviewed an online sample of 2,449 adults across Britain aged 18-plus on May 29-30. The results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.
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