Majority of Brits want Brexit trade deal with EU and expect longer transition period

Boris Johnson speaking at a European Council summit at EU headquarters in Brussels.

Boris Johnson speaking at a European Council summit at EU headquarters in Brussels. - Credit: PA

A new poll has revealed three quarters of British people want negotiations to end with a trade deal with the European Union, and the majority are expecting Boris Johnson to extend the transition period in order to seek a deal.

The Focaldata poll was commissioned by campaign groups Best for Britain and HOPE not hate and surveyed more than 2,000 adults this month.

The poll was carried out in the light of the fact that only two rounds of UK-EU negotiations are left before a high level meeting of the Joint Committee is held in June to assess the progress made.

Brits were asked for their opinion on whether they wanted a Brexit deal and an extension to the Brexit transition period.

Three quarters (75%) wanted to see a trade deal with the bloc at the end of the transition period. This include a majority Conservative voters (64%) and more than half of Leave voters (57%), and is also a popular opinion across all age groups and UK regions.

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During the general election Boris Johnson had promised an 'oven ready' Brexit deal,

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And with the crisis threatening a second wave of infections as nations around the world begin easing their lockdown restrictions, a majority of the public (59%) now expect the transition period to be extended in order for the government to fulfil their promise to deliver that trade deal.

The poll found that 42% of Conservative and Leave voters also expect the transition period to be extended as a result of the crisis to ensure a deal.

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Naomi Smith, CEO of Best for Britain, said: 'Voters overwhelmingly want to leave the EU with a comprehensive Brexit deal, something this government promised as part of its manifesto.

'The transition period was designed to give us time to secure that trade deal and prepare for it to come into effect.

'That time has already been decimated by coronavirus, and with fears of a possible second wave of infections around the corner, it would be prudent to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

'We urge the government to reclaim the time stolen by coronavirus by extending the transition period.'

Nick Lowles, CEO of HOPE not hate, said: 'The fact that a no-deal Brexit remains a possibility will terrify businesses and communities up and down the country, especially as they struggle to deal with Covid-19.

'With the economy already reeling, it is astounding that the government wants to ignore the impact of leaving the Single Market.

'Leaving without a deal risks pouring kerosene on the fire currently engulfing our economy.'

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