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New poll finds voters overwhelmingly want Boris Johnson to seek Brexit extension

Boris Johnson in Westminster - Credit: PA

Voters overwhelmingly want the government to seek an extension to Britain’s Brexit transition period, new polling has found.

By more than two-to-one supporters of an extension to the transition period outnumber those that oppose one according to the data from YouGov.

The polling was conducted at the end of last week on behalf of pro-European group Best for Britain – days before a new Covid-19 wave saw the port of Dover close and flights from Britain halted.

According to the polling, 51% would support an extension for a “short period of time beyond the 1st January” while a Brexit deal is implemented, compared to 20% who would not support one.

A total of 12% neither support nor oppose with 16% saying that they ‘don’t know’ in response to the question.

The polling also shows that almost two-thirds of voters want to see a trade deal and, of those, half want it to be followed by negotiations for a more comprehensive arrangement.

It suggests failure to achieve a deal will leave Boris Johnson facing serious questions from within his own party: roughly half (49%) of Conservatives support a deal, while just over a third (35%) favour no deal.

Only 18% back a no-deal outcome. Among Labour and Lib Dem supporters, that figure is a mere 4%.

Even among Leave voters, more want an agreement than favour no deal.

Best for Britain CEO Naomi Smith said: “Voters know what the government is refusing to admit – we’re out of time. Our major trade route with our biggest trading partner is shut, international travel is being choked off and yet everything is supposed to be ready for an orderly exit from the EU on January 1st.

“Businesses still do not know what to expect in the new year – but are somehow supposed to be ready to react when vast swathes of the country are under lockdown, and Boris Johnson’s prevarication has introduced a whole new level of chaos to Christmas planning.

“The government is not living in the real world. In the real world, businesses are breaking as we speak, and neither business owners, employees nor anyone else has the information or capacity to deal with a cliff-edge Brexit and a Covid catastrophe come January.”