Prime Minister Theresa May might be facing a difficult time in reconciling public expectations according to a recent poll. It showed that most voters want Britain to stay in the European Union single market even after the brexit referendum.However, the same poll showed that voters want more controls on immigration.
The survey was carried out by NatCen, which is an independent social research agency. The poll showed that 90 percent of people were in favour of staying in the EU single market. Some respondents were in favour of a soft Brexit that includes allowing banks in EU countries to provide services to people from the UK, and at the same time allow British banks to offer services to people within the EU. They were also in favour of staying inside the EU fisheries policy.
However, 70 percent of the respondents want to see limits on immigration within EU. Some of those who were in favour for this option also voted to remain the EU. 71 percent were in favour of strict customs checks at the borders.
According to Chancellor Philip Hammond, remaining in the customs unions is one of the options being considered by the UK government. However, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that Britain would leave the customs union. Business groups warned that leaving the customs union will lead to disruptions in their operations.
Various EU leaders have stated that freedom of movement comes with the single market membership. According to Jeroen Dijsselbloem, president of Eurogroup and Dutch finance minister, Johnson was promising something that was impossible to implement.
The NatCen survey showed voters are split on their priorities. When asked whether the UK should allow people from the EU to cross the border, live and work in exchange of allowing British companies to trade freely with the European Union, 70 percent said of remain voters said yes. The same number of leave voters said no.
The report concluded that the more the UK was asked by the European Union to make a decision between ending freedom of movement and keeping free trade, the harder it will be for the UK government to get positive results from the negotiations. Voters are divided issues at hand, and no matter what the government opts for in the future, a lot of people will be unsatisfied.
On that note, the number of workers in the UK from eastern EU countries increased after the Brexit. The number of workers from Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Slovakia, went up to 46,000 in July to September of this year. The Office for National Statistics also found out that the number of workers from other EU countries went down during the same period. It showed that the Brexit has little impact on the number of workers from the EU in the UK.