A majority of Brexit voters are willing for the UK economy to take “significant damage” from leaving the European Union.
Some six in 10 Leave voters believe the economic damage would be “a price worth paying for Brexit” according to a new YouGov poll. A further 39 per cent of Brexit supporters would also consider themselves or a family member losing their job as a result of Brexit to be a price worth paying.
Both numbers increase when limited to older leave voters, with 71 per cent of those who voted for Brexit and are aged over 65 saying significant economic damage would be a price worth paying, and 50 per cent expressing their comfort with a family member losing a job.
However, this so-called ‘Brexit extremism’ isn’t limited to Leave voters. The same YouGov poll found that one in five Remain voters would happily see the British economy suffer “just to teach Leave voters a lesson”. Meanwhile, over a third of those polled who expressed a preference and voted against Brexit would consider economic damage a price worth paying to stop Britain’s exit from the EU.
The results add to the sense that there is a growing age divide in British politics, following both the Brexit referendum and the recent general election.
The poll comes as the government faces increasing questions about whether it actually has a coherent Brexit strategy, with Chancellor Philip Hammond’s push for a transitional deal that will preserve ties between the UK and EU while a trade deal is negotiated receiving fresh backing from former Chancellor and Tory leader William Hague.
Hammond has come under fire from Cabinet colleagues who see his proposals as a plot to soften Brexit.
“This is seen by longstanding advocates of leaving as a ‘soft’ position or a climbdown”, said Lord Hague.
“But in reality it is a plan to rescue Brexit from an approaching disaster”.