Britons pessimistic about Brexit outcome: Poll

Democratic Unionist Party deputy leader Nigel Dodds (centre) speaking to the media on Dec 5, 2017, after his party rejected a Brexit deal by British PM Theresa May. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Britons are increasingly critical of the government's handling of Brexit negotiations and pessimistic about their outcome, according to new polling on Wednesday (Dec 6).

The National Centre for Social Research found that the proportion of Britons who think the government is handling talks badly rose from 41 per cent in February to 55 per cent in July to 61 per cent in October.

The number predicting Britain would get a bad deal in Brussels also rose from 37 per cent in February to 44 per cent in July to 52 per cent in October.

In the most recent polling only 19 per cent thought Britain would obtain a good deal, the polling found.

The results were based on a survey of 2,200 people.

"It might be thought the increased pessimism is primarily the result of Remain voters becoming increasingly disenchanted with the Brexit process," senior research fellow John Curtice said.

"However, this is not what happened. Rather, pessimism has become much more widespread among those who voted Leave" in last year's Brexit referendum.

But Curtice added that voters criticise the Brexit process "rather than draw the conclusions that the act of leaving is misguided".

"A difficult Brexit could simply prove politically costly for (British Prime Minister Theresa) May and her beleaguered government rather than a catalyst for a change of heart on Brexit," he said.

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