Brexit views remain split with a year to go until the split

Brexit views remain split with a year to go until the split

Leaning over the counter of his seafood stall in Great Yarmouth, Darran Nichols-George says those moaning need to stop complaining.

 

"At the end of the day we live in a democracy and therefore they've had the vote," said 51-year-old Nichols-George, peering over cartons of prawns, crabs, mussels and jellied eels.

"We voted out so we're going to go out."

The fishmonger was one of the 17.4 million Britons who voted to quit the EU in a 2016 referendum, giving the Brexit campaign victory over the 16.1 million voters who wanted to stay.

Since then, Brexit has never been far from the headlines, from difficult talks with the EU and leaks of government forecasts that Britain will be worse off, to fish dumped into the River Thames by fishermen angry at European quotas.

A year before Britain leaves the bloc in March 2019, allegations that the main campaign for leaving the EU broke the law have revived memories of the bitter referendum battle.

Despite the issue dominating discussions in parliament and the pages of newspapers, voters' views seem entrenched as ever.

"People now think of themselves as Leavers or Remainers and see developments from that perspective," Sara Hobolt, a professor of politics at the London School of Economics, told Reuters. She estimates that 80 to 90 percent of Britons have not changed their minds since 2016.

Some senior figures, such as former Prime Minister Tony Blair, have demanded a second referendum on the final deal agreed with the EU, so people could have a say in full knowledge of the possible outcome. But polls and research suggest there is no overwhelming support for another vote.

Even if there was another plebiscite, the surveys show Britons are still deeply divided and most would probably vote the same way.

"Tony Blair -- he should keep his snout out," said retired 68-year-old Michael Cutting, who voted Leave and has lived in Great Yarmouth his whole life.

His view is shared by many in the rundown holiday resort, a once bustling fishing port some 140 miles (200 km) northeast of London, where paint peels off windswept ferris wheels and mainly elderly visitors wander past its "Golden Mile" sandy beach and drab amusement arcades.

Published: by Radio NewsHub
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