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Poll: Majority of Brexit voters back closer cooperation with Europe

The view from Downing Street - Credit: PA

An overwhelming majority of Brexit voters back closer ties with Europe on “mutually beneficial” areas such as trade, new polling has revealed.

Some 60% of Leave voters said it was important the UK cooperate with Brussels to tackle climate change and deal with threats from Russia and China.

The large-scale poll of over 3,000 adults conducted by Number Cruncher Politics on behalf of Best for Britain also found that fewer than one in five – 18% – of voters understood what is meant by the government’s “Global Britain” slogan.

Support for greater cooperation cuts across the Wesmintser political divide with 68% of voters saying Britain needed to cooperate more with its allies to solve international isses. 

Some 79% of Remain voters backed working with allies to regulate social media companies, which is broadly in line with the 72% of Leave voters who support the move. Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority – 71% – of white voters back learning foreign languages and other cultures.

Despite the strong showing for international cooperation, voters are still confused about the government’s “Global Britain” slogan. More than a quarter – 32% – said they had never heard of the term, while an even higher number – 37% – said they were not sure what it meant.

Best for Britain chief executive Naomi Smith said the figures should serve as a “wake-up call” for the goverment.

“[Downing Street] must move beyond empty rhetoric about a global Britain,” she said, adding: “It’s also a reminder to opposition parties not to neglect the majority of voters who want Britain to be world leading, not world beating. Cooperation rather than competition is the message coming through.

Sir David Lidington, former Tory chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “The prosperity and security of our own country depends increasingly on working with others.

“Whether it’s addressing the climate emergency, defeating organised crime and terrorism or defending democracy, human rights and the rule of law, the UK’s national interest requires effective international action.

“This should be based on strong alliances and partnerships with countries both in our own continent and the wider world.”

Best for Britain released the poll amid a relaunch. The lobbying group is calling for greater ties between Britain and the EU and will scrutinise trade deals stuck by Downing Street, having establishing the cross-party Trade and Business Commission earlier this month.

It has also called on the government to reinstate the foreign aid budget to 0.7% of Gross National Income.