Recent poll suggests Theresa May might face public backlash over hard Brexit

| Updated: Feb 12, 2017 08:20 IST

London [UK], Feb. 12(ANI): According to a poll, a clear majority of the British public opposes UK Prime Minister Theresa May's uncompromising Brexit negotiating position and is not prepared for the country to crash out of the European Union (EU) if the former could not negotiate a reasonable exit deal. According to the Guardian, in a sign that public support for the government's push for a hard Brexit is increasingly precarious, just 35 percent of the public said they backed Britain leaving the EU without an agreement with other states. The UK would then fall back on to World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs, which MPs and business leaders have claimed would devastate the economy. The survey - conducted by ICM for the online campaigning organization, Avaaz voted overwhelmingly to trigger Article 50 - suggests May would face a considerable backlash if Britain crashed out of the EU on WTO terms. In a welcome boost for soft Brexit campaigners, around 54 percent of those surveyed backed either extending negotiations if a satisfactory deal could not be reached, or halting the process altogether while the public was consulted for a second time. The Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, Tom Brake, said the findings proved the government's position was indefensible. Of the 54percent of people, who opposed the government's position, 34 percent said May should continue negotiating. A further 20 percent backed halting the process pending a second referendum on the terms of the deal, an option backed by the Lib Dems and a cross-party group of MPs, including Labour MPs David Lammy, Heidi Alexander and Ben Bradshaw, as well as the Green Party leader, Caroline Lucas. "Our best hope of stopping a ruinous hard Brexit that nobody voted for and few want is if the public rally round to fight it, as Brexit grows more unpopular. That means uniting many who voted leave but now want to avoid the economic catastrophe of quitting the single market, and who want to protect those European citizens who contribute so much to Britain's economy and society," Brake said. Bert Wander, Avaaz's campaign director, said the results showed May was at odds with the public over Brexit, and called for the House of Lords to ensure that Britons had the right to force May to continue negotiating.(ANI)