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About Half of ‘Leave’ Voters Unwilling to Take a Brexit Hit

  • Poll shows 51% of all voters not amenable to being worse off
  • Ex-Labour leader predicts ‘almighty backlash’ from voters

Almost half of British voters who opted to leave the European Union are unwilling to take a financial hit to see Brexit through, according to a survey released Sunday by a pro-EU campaign group.

The poll found that 49 percent of “Leave” voters aren’t willing to lose any money, while 11 percent said they would be willing to give up 100 pounds ($126) or more a month. The remaining 40 percent said they would not be willing to sacrifice more than 50 pounds a month, according to the poll commissioned by Open Britain, a successor to the “Remain” campaign that’s now lobbying to soften the terms of the U.K.’s EU divorce.

The survey shows the tricky balancing act Prime Minister Theresa May faces as she prepares to formally trigger Brexit talks by the end of March. She’s said she wants to retain maximum access to Europe’s single market while regaining control over immigration from the continent. EU counterparts including German Chancellor Angela Merkel have said Britain can’t remain in the single market without accepting the free movement of people.

“The government will rightly be subject to an almighty backlash from ‘Leave’ voters if it makes decisions about our economic future that make them far poorer and leaves less money for public services,” former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband said in a statement e-mailed by Open Britain. “Having voted for a better future, this would be the ultimate betrayal.”

A pre-referendum Treasury analysis that examined three models for Brexit found that the nature of any eventual deal will affect the level of economic damage a withdrawal inflicts on Britain. A Norway-style deal that retains full access to the single market would knock 2,600 pounds off predicted gross domestic product per household in 2030, compared with the 5,200-pound hit from a so-called hard Brexit that reverts Britain to World Trade Organization rules with its associated tariffs on trade.

YouGov surveyed 1,615 adults in Britain online on Dec. 5 and 6, including 690 “Leave” voters. Respondents were asked what was the maximum amount of money they personally would be willing to give up in order for the U.K. to leave the EU.

The poll found that 88 percent of “Leave” voters would vote for Brexit in a repeat of the referendum, while 92 percent of “Remain” voters would replicate their vote.

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