Public would blame both UK government and EU if no Brexit deal is reached

The Ipsos MORI June 2018 Political Monitor shows half of the public say both the UK government and EU are equally to blame if no Brexit deal is reached.

Public would blame both UK government and EU if no Brexit deal is reached

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Glenn Gottfried Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Cameron Garrett Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
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  • Half of public say both UK government and EU equally to blame if no Brexit deal is reached
  • Only three in ten confident in May to get a good deal for Britain in the negotiations
  • Britons becoming more pessimistic over the economy

As Europe’s leaders gather in Brussels to discuss Brexit amongst other things, the latest Ipsos MORI Political Monitor shows the British public still lack confidence in Theresa May to get a good deal for Britain out of these negotiations. One in three (30%) say they have confidence in the Prime Minister, slightly down from 34% last month and a bigger drop from 37% back in March. Two-thirds (67%) say they are not confident in her getting a good deal (a decline of 4 points from May). Conservative voters and older people are more slightly more confident in May to get a good deal (55% of Conservative supports and 37% of those aged 55+ say they are confident) while Labour supporters and younger people are less so (15% of Labour supporters and 27% of 18-54s are confident).

When the public were asked who would be to blame if no agreement was reached by the time Britain leaves the EU next year, half (49%) say it would be the fault of both the UK government and the EU equally. Three in ten (30%) however say it would be mostly the fault of the UK government and 18% say the EU. Conservatives are more likely to blame the EU than the UK government (34% vs. 10%) although more than half (54%) say the blame falls on both. Half (49%) of Labour voters however say the UK government would be to blame and 41% say both equally – just 7% say the EU alone would be to blame.

Attributing blame in the case of a no deal Brexit

When asked if Theresa May has been stronger or weaker at achieving her objectives than the leaders of the European Union have been at achieving their objectives, two in five (42%) say that the Prime Minister has been weaker while the same (43%) say she has been about the same as other EU leaders. Eight percent say that Theresa May has been stronger. Large differences are again seen across party lines with half (51%) of Conservative voters saying Theresa May and the EU leaders have been about the same while 31% say she has been weaker (15% say she has been stronger). On the other hand nearly half (47%) of Labour voters say she has been weaker while 41% say the two sides have been about the same.

May's Brexit negotiations performance

Theresa May’s overall leadership satisfaction ratings show little change from last month – 35% say they are satisfied with her (down 2 points) with 58% dissatisfied (up 2 points) leaving her a net satisfaction score of -23. Currently nearly one in three (31%) are satisfied in Jeremy Corbyn (down 1 point) while 57% are dissatisfied (up 1 point) leaving him a net satisfaction score of -26. Vince Cable has still made little progress with the public where 27% are satisfied in him as the Liberal Democrat leader (down 1 point) and 34% are dissatisfied leaving him a net satisfaction score of -7 (down 2 points) although 38% still have no opinion of him.
Theresa May’s leadership satisfaction ratings remain stable amongst Conservatives. Two-thirds (68%) are satisfied in her with 27% dissatisfied giving her a net score of +41. Jeremy Corbyn’s scores also remain slightly lower amongst Labour supporters. Fifty-seven percent say they are satisfied in the Labour leader while one third (32%) are dissatisfied – leaving him a net score of +25.

Britons have become more pessimistic about the state of Britain’s economy according to the Ipsos MORI Economic Optimism Index. More than half (54%) think the economy will get worse in the next 12 months (up 8 points) while 19% say it will improve (down 4 points) giving an EOI score of -35 (down 12 points) – the worst rating so far this year.

Our ongoing voting intention figures still show both main parties running close with the Conservatives on 41%, Labour on 38%, the Liberal Democrats on 7% and UKIP on 4%.

Gideon Skinner, Head of Political Research at Ipsos MORI, said:

Britons would wish a plague on both sides of the Brexit negotiations if we leave with no deal, but their confidence in the Prime Minister has been on a downward trend since the transition agreement in March – though a successful outcome in the next stage of negotiations could reverse this.  This combines with a fall in economic optimism to its worst this year – although despite this there is little change in the overall position of the parties

Technical Note

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,026 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. Interviews were conducted by telephone 22nd – 27th June 2018.  Data are weighted to the profile of the population.

The author(s)

  • Gideon Skinner Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Glenn Gottfried Ipsos Public Affairs, UK
  • Cameron Garrett Ipsos Public Affairs, UK

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