Just a QUARTER of voters actually believe the UK will leave the EU by October 31 as campaigners claim only a fifth of Britons believe a No Deal divorce would be a good outcome
Only a quarter of British voters believe the UK will have left the European Union by the current Halloween divorce deadline, a new poll has revealed.
Just 27 per cent believe Boris Johnson will deliver on his pledge to take Britain out of the bloc by October 31 ‘do or die’ – assuming the Tory front runner becomes PM on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, new analysis by the Hope Not Hate campaign group suggested that the British public are opposed to a No Deal Brexit by a margin of two to one.
Some 47 per cent of voters apparently believe a No Deal divorce would be bad for the UK while an estimated 21 per cent believe it would be a good thing.
Speaking at the launch of the group’s latest report former Labour prime minister Gordon Brown said a bad break from Brussels would be a ‘self-inflicted wound’ comparable in military terms to the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Mr Johnson is the overwhelming favourite in the Conservative leadership race against Jeremy Hunt and he has promised the UK will split from the EU with or without a deal by October 31.
But a YouGov poll suggested the UK is highly sceptical about the deadline being met – perhaps unsurprisingly given that Brexit has already been delayed twice.
The poll showed 56 per cent of the general population believe it is unlikely that Britain will have left by then.
The numbers are even more stark among people who voted to Remain at the 2016 EU referendum, with almost two thirds believing the UK will still be a member of the bloc on November 1.
Some 63 per cent of Remainers believe leaving by Halloween is unlikely compared to just 22 per cent who think such an outcome is going to happen.
Even Leave voters do not appear to have much faith in Mr Johnson’s promise, with 50 per cent of the belief that leaving on time is unlikely compared to 38 per cent who think it is likely.
Conservative Party supporters are the most likely to believe the deadline will be kept to and there will not be a further Brexit delay.
Some 41 per cent of Tory backers believe leaving in accordance with the current timeline is likely but more believe it is unlikely at 48 per cent.
A majority of Labour and Lib Dem voters appear to believe there will be another Brexit delay.
Some 63 per cent of people who voted Labour in 2017 think Brexit by October 31 is unlikely with the number at 64 per cent for Lib Dem voters.
Matthew Smith, lead data journalist at YouGov, suggested the public just ‘doesn’t buy’ Mr Johnson’s pledge.
He said: ‘Worryingly for Johnson, even Conservative and Leave voters are sceptical.
‘Half (50 per cent) of those who voted for Brexit back in 2016 think it’s unlikely to have taken place by November, as do 48 per cent of Tory voters.
‘Remainers, Lib Dems and Labour are all even more doubtful that the deadline can be reached, with between 63 per cent and 64 per cent in each of these groups saying they don’t expect to see Brexit having taken place by then.’
A promise to deliver Brexit by October 31 has been the centre piece of Mr Johnson’s Tory leadership campaign.
He has made Halloween a hard deadline and has said he will not countenance another delay.
Mr Hunt has been slightly softer on the issue.
The Foreign Secretary has said he would keep the option of a No Deal divorce on the table but would also be willing to agree to a short extension if a deal with Brussels was in sight.
Mr Johnson’s hardline Brexit stance – he has also ruled out calling an election before Britain has left the bloc – has put the UK and EU on a collision course.
Brussels has been adamant that the current divorce deal cannot be changed – a key demand of the former mayor of London.
Ursula von der Leyen, the president-elect of the European Commission, has said she would agree a further Brexit delay beyond October 31 but only for a ‘good reason’ like a general election or second referendum.
The likelihood of the two sides striking a compromise enabling the UK to leave on good terms on or before Halloween appears slim.
But the YouGov poll suggested voters ultimately believe there will be another delay.
Britain was supposed to leave the EU on March 29 this year but the UK’s departure was put back after MPs rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal on three separate occasions.
Hope Not Hate’s findings are the product of combining numerous old polls and then subjecting the figures to what the group described as ‘advanced data analysis’.
Boris Johnson, pictured in Westminster today, has vowed to deliver Brexit by October 31 ‘do or die’
Gordon Brown, pictured in London today, compared a No Deal Brexit to the Charge of the Light Brigade
Mr Brown today accused Mr Johnson of preparing to push the British economy ‘off a cliff’.
Speaking in central London, Mr Brown warned Mr Johnson may be fated to be remembered by history ‘not as the 55th prime minister of the UK but as the first prime minister of England’.
‘The message to Boris Johnson is plain and urgent: Don’t push Britain off a cliff on October 31,’ he said.
‘If No Deal goes ahead on Thursday October 31, 24 hours later – on what Brexiteers will call ‘freedom Friday’, but others ‘black Friday’ – there will almost certainly be hold-ups at Dover.
‘By Saturday, pile-ups on our motorways. By Sunday, food prices will be going up – a 10 per cent rise is the latest estimate – and by Monday, the pound – already sharply down on its pre-Brexit value – will be under pressure.
‘By Tuesday, medical drugs from mainland Europe will be less accessible, and a week after Brexit, companies will be complaining that vital stocks and components are not reaching them, and that is likely to put their workers on short-time.’
He added: ‘British history includes self-inflicted wounds – military disasters such as the Charge of the Light Brigade and the fiasco of Gallipoli – but no peacetime act of self-harm can rival a No Deal Brexit for which we are so woefully unprepared.’
Mr Brown claimed polling by Hope Not Hate suggested three million voters who backed Leave in the 2016 referendum now opposed a No Deal Brexit.