Nearly twice as many voters now believe Brexit is having a negative effect on the British economy than it benefits the country’s finances, according to the latest Opinium survey for the Observer, carried out during budget week.
The probe comes after Richard Hughes, chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility, said his organization calculated that the negative impact on GDP caused by the UK’s exit from the EU should be twice as much important than that resulting from the pandemic.
Hughes said Brexit would reduce the UK’s potential GDP by around 4% in the long run, while the pandemic would cut it “by another 2%”. “In the long run, it’s true that Brexit has a bigger impact than the pandemic,” he said.
Opinium’s findings appear to be in line with other recent polls, including a survey conducted last week by Ipsos MORI, which showed concerns about the effects of Brexit to the point that it is now seen as the biggest problem for the country alongside Covid-19.
The Opinium survey found that 44% of people think Brexit has a negative impact on the UK economy, compared to 25% who think it has a positive effect.
More clearly, 53% of people think Brexit has a negative effect on prices in stores, compared to 13% who think it has a good effect, while 51% think it negatively affects the UK’s capacity. United to import goods from the EU, compared to 15% who think it helps.
While Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s approval rating rose slightly after his budget speech on Wednesday, in which he increased government spending to their highest sustained level since the 1970s while warning that inflation would hit 4 % next year, the fact that people seem to link Brexit with economic issues including rising prices will be a concern for numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street.
During the Brexit campaign, led by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, the Leave campaign told voters leaving the EU would create a more vibrant UK economy, able to trade freely across the world, and less bureaucracy, leading to lower prices.
The OBR report, released with Sunak’s budget, said its evidence to date suggested that its previous forecast that Brexit would lead to a 15% drop in UK imports to and exports to the EU seemed have been generally correct.
The report said: “Evidence so far suggests that import and export intensity has been reduced by Brexit, with developments still in line with our original assumption of a 15% reduction in each.”
It is also clarified that the shortages of truck drivers were at least partly caused by Brexit.
Last week on Financial Time reported that in August of this year, global merchandise trade had rebounded sharply from the height of the pandemic (according to the CPB World Trade Monitor), the UK was a notable exception with its exports still dropping sharply .
Since the end of the Brexit transition period on January 1 of this year, UK ministers have insisted that trade difficulties to and from the EU would be short-lived and only constitute “problems of startup ”that would be resolved quickly once businesses got used to it. the new provisions.
Although Opinium has found evidence of clear anxiety over Brexit, this has yet to translate into a negative effect on support for the Conservative Party.
The Conservatives are at 40%, down 1 point from a fortnight ago, while Labor is down 2 points to 35%. The Lib Dems are at 8%, the Greens at 7%, the SNP at 5% and Plaid Cymru at 1%.