Has Brexit been a failure? A majority of Brits think so

Has Brexit been a failure? A majority of Brits think so

A new opinion poll has found that most British voters see leaving the EU as a huge failure for the country, especially around broken promises on NHS funding.


A significant majority of British people believe the country’s decision to leave the European Union has been bad for the UK.

They also believe Brexit has driven up prices in shops, as well as thwarting government attempts to control immigration and damaging the economy.

That’s according to a poll by insight research agency Opinium, undertaken to mark the third anniversary of the UK leaving the EU single market and customs union.

The survey asked more than 2,000 UK voters if they believe Brexit has benefited them or the country.

In a new headache for Rishi Sunak’s much-maligned government, results show starkly low numbers who agree with that scenario.

Just one in 10 people surveyed say leaving the EU has helped their personal financial situation. Another 35% say it has been bad for their finances.

Only 9% of respondents said they believed Brexit has been good for the NHS – in contrast, 47% answered it has had a negative impact on the health service.

Sunak has long backed Brexit and claimed it would provide an economic boost for the UK.

Just 7% of people think it has helped keep prices low in UK shops, while 63% believe it’s been a significant factor in both the ongoing cost of living crisis and in fuelling inflation.

The findings come seven and a half years on from the divisive referendum, which remains a controversial issue in the country.

Overall, just 22% of voters said they believe leaving the bloc has been good for the UK in general.

The Vote Leave campaign led by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised that Brexit would boost the economy and trade while ‘taking back control’ of the UK’s borders.

Controversially, it also claimed that leaving the EU would bring back £350 million (about €403m) each week into the NHS. This money has not materialised. 

Experts now say that aspects touted as benefits of leaving the EU have mostly failed and public perception has shifted from positivity to an overwhelming lack of support for Brexit.

Political pundits say that Brexiteeers’ promise that leaving the EU’s customs union and single market would be the start of a new, profitable global trade system.

Fifteen per cent of respondents in the poll 15% say the choice to leave the bloc has been good in terms of the ability of UK firms to import goods from outside the EU.

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