February 12, 2021
Pollwatch: Peers & Brexit
The perception of Brexit in the House of Lords
Three in ten (28%) Peers believe the government is doing a good job of handling Brexit...
With the House of Lords playing a fundamental role throughout the Brexit process, including an attempt to amend the Internal Markets Bill that would have given the UK central Government power to override the Northern Ireland Protocol, Savanta ComRes polled Peers on their perception of Brexit and the future on the Union.
Peers are generally divided on the EU’s tactics throughout the negotiations; when asked whether the EU has been fair throughout negotiations, four in ten (44%) Peers agree the EU has been fair, while a similar number of Peers (38%) disagree. An interesting disparity occurs among peers from different parties, however.
Two in three (67%) Conservative Peers disagreeing that the EU has been fair, while two in three (68%) Labour Peers agree the EU has been fair. Crossbenchers are more evenly split, with two in five (39%) agreeing that the EU has been fair, and 28% disagreeing.
This finding begs the question of how Peers view the government’s general handling of Brexit. Three in ten (28%) Peers believe the government is doing a good job of handling Brexit, while two in three (66%) disagree.
Party lines have once again altered opinion, as not a single Labour or Liberal Democrat Peer agree that the government is doing a good job of handling Brexit, while two in three (63%) Conservative Peers agree the current Government is doing well.
When asked whether Brexit will damage the relationship between the four nations of the United Kingdom, a large majority (78%) agree that Brexit will cause damage. This dwarfs the opinion that Brexit will not harm the relationship between the four UK nations, as only one in twelve (8%) Peers disagree relations will be harmed.
As well as internally, the UK will need to focus on foreign relations in the post-Brexit era. One belief held by the majority Peers is that a CANZUK agreement (between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK) should be sought, including free trade, free movement and common foreign policy agreements.
Three in four (76%) Peers agree such an agreement should be explored, whilst only one in ten (8%) disagree. This appears to have significant support from all political parties and crossbenchers, with high proportions of Conservative Peers (81%), Crossbenchers (78%) and Labour Peers (68%) agreeing.
Finally, Peers were asked whether Brexit is a good thing for the UK; only one in three (28%) Peers agree that it is, whilst two in three (67%) disagree Brexit is a good thing. The highest optimism for Brexit comes from Conservative Peers, where two in three (67%) agree Brexit is a good thing for the UK, whilst not a single Labour Peer agrees with this statement.
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